In 2016, Georgia Watch intervened in both the merger between Southern Company and AGL Resources and the Georgia Power Integrated Resource and Demand Side Management (DSM) Plan proceedings before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). As an Intervenor, we worked to ensure the interests of residential customers and especially low-income consumers were reflected in the state’s long-range energy plan. As the proceedings concluded in late July, we negotiated a number of benefits for residential ratepayers.
Our hard work led to a significant win for consumers!
According to a 2016 report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition, “low-income households devote up to three times as much income to energy costs as do other, higher-income households.” In addition, the report found that energy burdens are greatest for low-income households in 10 major cities, including Atlanta. To help address this disparity, the settlement agreement reached among Georgia Watch, Georgia Power and PSC Staff includes:
- Dedicating $1.5 million per year for the next three years to a new Energy Efficiency (EE) Program for low-income multifamily affordable housing and possibly adding up to $2.5 million of a pilot EE budget to low income DSM programs.
- Working to establish a donation program similar to holiday canned food drives with retail establishments and asking shoppers to purchase items such as weatherization kits and LED bulbs to be distributed to low income homes through community outreach channels, including food banks.