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Georgia Power Rate Case Faces Stalemate Over Profit

A vote is scheduled for next Tuesday to decide on the outcome of Georgia Power's rate increase proposal.
A vote is scheduled for next Tuesday to decide on the outcome of Georgia Power's rate increase proposal.
Credit PIXABAY IMAGES

Just days before the Public Service Commission is scheduled to vote on the Georgia Power rate increase proposal, there still isn’t a comprehensive consensus.

The company and other parties, including regulator’s staff, have a key issue: how much profit Georgia Power is allowed to make. It’s the first time since 2001 that there hasn’t been a settlement at this stage.

Georgia Power presented its proposed rate increase to the Georgia Public Service Commission in July. It amounts to roughly an additional $10 per month per average residential customer, and the company faced pushback from other parties, including the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Kroger Company and the commission’s own staff.

The commission now has to decide on the outcome with a vote scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 17. For a three-year rate plan, the commission would require the company’s approval. But the commission could order a one-year rate plan over the company’s wishes.

There is also disagreement about the company’s allowed capital structure.

On Thursday, commission staff argued that the company does not need the level of return on equity it’s requested in its filings. The company responded that not earning its requested amount of profit will have negative effects on its credit rating and ultimately, its ability to provide clean, reliable, affordable power to customers.

WABE’s Emma Hurt spoke to WABE’s Sam Whitehead about this disagreement and why it might be happening.