Georgia Power wants 12% rate hike for customers to fund distribution improvements

Georgia Power wants 12% rate hike for customers to fund distribution improvements

By T.A. DeFeo, The Center Square

Georgia Power wants to invest billions in transmission and distribution improvements, and the proposed upgrades will cost ratepayers.

The company asked the Georgia Public Service Commission to approve an increase in customer rates by nearly 12% over the next three years. The company argues that the increase is lower than the current projected inflation rate.

The company said a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see a total increase of $16.29 per month over the three years — starting at $14.32 per month in 2023, then lowering to $1.35 per month in 2024 and $0.62 per month in 2025.

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, anticipates investing nearly $7 billion over the next three years in transmission and distribution improvements. That includes $2.2 billion for the company’s ongoing multi-year Grid Investment Plan.

“As our state continues to grow and the energy landscape rapidly evolves, we recognize and respect our customers’ focus on the reliability and resiliency of Georgia’s electric system, the expansion of our clean energy resources and Georgia Power’s continued ability to safely and reliably meet their energy needs,” Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, said in an announcement.

In a news release, Georgia Power said it invested nearly $10 billion over the last ten years to upgrade its network, including $4.9 billion in transmission and distribution infrastructure between January 2020 and the end of 2022. Of that, $1.5 billion is related to the company’s GIP.

However, a Georgia consumer advocacy organization raised concerns about the proposed increase, saying Georgians’ budgets are already stretched thin.

“A significant number of Georgians already struggle to pay high electric bills,” Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch, told The Center Square. “Georgia Power’s requested rate hike, if approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, would create an even bigger burden on household budgets.”

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