By Angela Speir Phelps
Most Georgians realize the impact energy bills have on their family’s budget, especially at this time of year when our natural gas bills rise. But what many may not realize is that last year, the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs completely defunded the Consumer’s Utility Counsel (CUC), a branch of the executive office that spoke up for average Georgians during the billion dollar utility cases being decided by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The PSC is made up of 5 commissioners who decide all utility rate increases. While utilities have high-priced attorneys and lobbyists advocating for them, with the elimination of the CUC, no one goes before the commissioners to speak up for average Georgians. This is where we’d like to come in.
Georgia Watch is working diligently to raise money for our Consumer Energy Program so we can formally intervene in upcoming cases before the PSC and be a voice for the average Georgian.
UPCOMING PSC CASES:
• Atlanta Gas Light Company will file a rate case, chances are rates will increase.
• Georgia Power will also file a huge fuel case, and if history is an indicator, rates will increase.
• Georgia Power’s fuel case alone is worth $800 million dollars, or about $400/customer.
• Georgia Power will also file a plan in Jan. to determine how our state’s long range energy needs will be met. More coal? Green power? More nuclear? Or can we avoid the need to build costly plants by implementing more energy efficiency.
These important and potentially costly policy decisions will be decided by the commissioners. The utilities will be there, the big businesses will be there, but who will be there for you? We will, if we can raise enough money to intervene in these cases.
We need your help to do that.
Our yearly membership drive begins in November and we need you to renew your membership or be a first-time supporter of Georgia Watch. Look out for our fundraiser mailer or go to our Web site to see why Clark Howard says it’s a good idea to contribute to Georgia Watch.
We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to what we can accomplish together!