Georgia Power bills will go up again in June

The Georgia Power headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. (Wikimedia Commons)

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Georgia Power customers will see their bills jump again next month, after the Public Service Commission approved another bill increase Tuesday.

The charge, called fuel cost recovery, is to cover last year’s increased natural gas prices. It will add $15.90 to the typical residential customer’s bill beginning in June.

“Just as Georgians paid higher prices at the gas pump in 2022, Georgia Power also paid more for the natural gas and other fuels we use to generate electricity, and the company does not earn any profit from these fuel costs,” said company spokesman John Kraft in an emailed statement. “We are helping balance these costs for customers by spreading them out over three years compared to the typical two years.”

Representatives of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers and the commission’s own advisory staff suggested spreading the cost over even more time to further reduce the monthly increase for customers, but the commission opted to stick with the three-year plan.

Regulators have approved the second of several power bill increases expected over the next three years. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

The bill increase is less than Georgia Power initially requested, thanks to an agreement reached last month between the utility and the commission’s public interest advocacy staff.

That agreement also increased the discount for income-qualified seniors by $2. The commissioners voted unanimously to add another $1.50, making the total monthly discount $33.50.

Still, the typical residential customer’s bill will increase to close to $150 a month in June.

“The most vulnerable Georgians are going to have to make unthinkable choices about how to spend their income,” said Jennifer Whitfield, Senior Attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center in a statement. “Georgia Power shouldn’t be pocketing billions in record profits while also putting customers in the position of choosing between power and basic needs.”

This is the second bill increase this year, after rates went up in January by just under three dollars for the typical customer. And more increases are coming: rates will go up again at the start of 2024 and 2025, and when each of the new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle comes online.