‘We feel like it’s a missed opportunity’ Georgia Power customers react to rate hike

Georgia Public Safety Commission approved an increase in your bill 12% over the next three years.
Potential Georgia Power extension may threaten homes
Potential Georgia Power extension may threaten homes
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 6:42 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgia Power requested the rate increase to invest in the state’s evolving energy needs. They plan to make changes like improving the power grid, retiring old coal plants, and adding infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Some of the funding they originally requested was slashed to help ratepayers’ pockets.

After 6 months of public comment, the Georgia Public Safety Commission approved an increase in your bill by 12% over the next three years. That increase was a lot lower than what Georgia Power requested. The budget to invest in clean energy will be less than they planned.

Georgia Power’s CEO Chris Womack wrote, “Since the start of the rate request process, we asked the PSC to set rates at a level that supports the essential, critical investments needed to meet our state’s evolving energy needs. The PSC’s decision does that while also balancing customer affordability needs. Through this process, we were able to bring forth a plan that considered all perspectives, manages the impact on customers, and supports our continued focus on providing clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy to Georgians.”

James Marlow president of the sustainability nonprofit The Southface Institute says the decision cuts funds in two key places- solar and electric vehicle infrastructure.

The new deal trims nearly $200 million from proposed grid improvement- which integrates renewable energy options like solar.

“There will soon be 55,000 new jobs in Georgia making electric Rivians Hyundais, making batteries at SK Innovations, or solar panels at Q Sells,” said Marlow.

The approved budget cuts nearly three-quarters of the proposed funding from Georgia Power’s Make-Ready program- which offers incentives for installing electric charging infrastructure.

“Currently 80% of electric vehicle charging takes place in the home, but more and more are going to electric vehicle networks which help for long trips,” said Marlow.

The 13.3 billion dollar EV industry is expanding in Georgia, but the infrastructure to support the vehicles drops off outside of metro areas. Marlow says adding more charging stations is needed now before more EVs hit the road.