What Georgia Power is proposing:
- Georgia Power residential customers pay a monthly “mandatory” fee that is hidden on your power bill. All customers are forced to pay this fee no matter how much energy you use. Georgia Power wants to hike your monthly fee from the current $10 per month to $17.95 per month by 2022.
- Georgia Power ALSO wants to increase your energy usage rates, which is the amount you pay for the energy you use. This means customers could end up paying over $200 more each year for the same amount of energy they use now by 2022.
How this impacts you:
Exactly how much would YOUR bill go up under Georgia Power’s proposal? Check the table below to see how much your bill would increase if Georgia Power gets their fee hike and rate increase approved:
Why the increases are a problem:
- Mandatory fees punish energy conservation and solar energy – Normally, an electricity customer can control their bill by controlling how much power they use, but a high mandatory fee throws this opportunity for cost savings out the window. High mandatory fees reduce the payback of investments customers have made in saving energy through energy efficiency measures like replacing light bulbs, insulating their homes, or installing solar panels. Customers will have less incentive to save energy and the economic benefits of energy conservation will be reduced.
- Mandatory fees help utility shareholders and executives, not customers – Increasing customers’ fees this much puts profits over people–increasing revenue for the benefit of shareholders and executives, rather than helping customers. Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, made more than $3.13 billion in profit in 2018 and paid their CEO over $13 million in 2018 while customers are left facing even higher electric bills. If approved, this would be among the highest mandatory monthly fees of investor-owned utilities around the country.
- More increases on the horizon to pay for Plant Vogtle – Remember the Plant Vogtle billion-dollar boondoggle? Georgia Power customers can expect the costs of continuing with this behind schedule and over-budget project to be added to their bills during the next round of rate increases in 2022. In other words, your bill is only going to continue to go up as Georgia tries to recover their costs from this nuclear project.
- Mandatory fees place the heaviest burden on seniors and low-income customers – The customers that will be the most affected by this fee hike will be seniors on fixed incomes and low-income families, groups that use the least energy and who can least afford the costly changes. The average social security check in Georgia is only $1,382, which is already spread too thin between food, rent, transportation, medical bills, and prescription costs. Households with lower-incomes also already devote up to three times more of their income to energy costs than higher-income households. It is just plain wrong to charge more to customers who use less.
What you can do to stop Georgia Power:
- Send a Message to Your Georgia Public Service Commissioners. This is a group of five statewide elected officials decides whether to approve Georgia Power’s proposal. You elect them, and they need to hear from you! Share your story, and ask them to reject Georgia Power’s proposal.
- Send a Message to Your State Legislators asking them to support you in opposing the fee hike and rate increases.
- Attend a Public Hearing at the Georgia Public Service Commission to speak up in person about your opposition to the fee hike.
- Use the hashtags #stopgeorgiapower and #fightthehike to post about this unfair hike on social media and urge your friends to sign the petition and attend a hearing.
Public Hearing Dates:
The Georgia Public Service Commission will host three rounds of public hearings. Public comments will be allowed on the first day of each round of the hearings. You may show up for public comment on:
- Monday, September 30, 2019
- Monday, November 4, 2019
- Monday, November 25, 2019
All hearings will be held at the Georgia Public Service Commission at 244 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. There will be demonstrations occurring outside, but speakers need to be inside the hearing room and signed up to speak by 9:00 a.m. each day. You must bring identification to enter the building.