By Ashley Wilson
November 23, 2010
The past few months have provided a number of wonderful opportunities for us to connect with our members and concerned citizens throughout the state.
Our outreach presentations have focused primarily on the rate increase proposed by Georgia Power, which is currently being considered by the Public Service Commission. We have had the pleasure of meeting with retirees of Lockheed Martin, several chapters of the Fulton County Council on Aging, the Sierra Club, the South Cobb Rotary Club, and several Neighborhood Planning Units in Atlanta.
Throughout our travels, consumers from Dahlonega to Albany have expressed their disgust that during a time when Georgia leads the nation in unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure, utility bills may be going up.
In October, Georgia Watch teamed up with AARP, the Georgia Retail Association, the Georgia Retired Educators Association, and many of the individuals we met through our outreach efforts to rally on the steps of the state capitol and highlight consumer concerns over Georgia Power’s $1 billion rate request. Ms. Helene S. Mills did an excellent job speaking on behalf of seniors who will be dramatically affected by skyrocketing power bills if Georgia Power’s rate increase is granted.
In November, Georgia Watch’s Hospital Accountability Project and Tift Regional Medical Center partnered to sponsor “Affording Hospital Care,” a free consumer workshop which was held at the Neighborhood Services Center in Tifton. The event educated consumers on how best to approach a hospital visit and keep rising healthcare costs in check. We were excited to have the opportunity to talk with nearly 200 patients and residents about ways to navigate the hospital’s financial assistance system, discover additional cost-saving options that make hospital expenses more manageable and avoid predatory loans for medical expenses. We also spoke about ways for consumers to save on their energy and telephone bills, and opportunities for seniors to receive free tax preparation assistance next year. For more information on the event, click here.
We look forward to reaching even more communities across the state in 2011, and will keep you updated on Georgia Watch workshops and other consumer events in your area.