In June, Georgia Power submitted a proposal to cost its prospects for a further $2.2 billion. A really troubling a part of Georgia Power’s proposal: they suggest to almost double the necessary month-to-month charge (which is hidden on most payments), from the present $10/month to $17.95/month for residential prospects.
Customers should pay this charge irrespective of how a lot or how little energy is definitely used, paying at the very least $215 per yr earlier than even flipping on a lightweight swap. If permitted, this might be among the highest mandatory monthly fees of investor-owned utilities around the country! Compared to different states in recent times, Georgia Power’s proposed fee of $17.95 is 78% higher than the average approved fee ($10.11) and their proposed increase of $7.95 per month is nearly 6 times greater than the average approved fee increase ($1.38).
Rather than such an exorbitant charge hike, Georgia Power ought to proceed to prioritize basing prospects’ payments on how a lot energy you employ–the much less you employ, the much less you pay.
Why Do Mandatory Fees Hurt Customers?
1. Mandatory charges take away buyer management – Normally, an electrical energy buyer can management their invoice by controlling how a lot power they use. If prospects are good and thrifty and use much less energy, they’re rewarded each month with a decrease invoice. A excessive necessary charge throws this chance for price financial savings out the window and severely limits a buyer’s selection and freedom to management their energy prices and decrease their energy payments. As stated within the AJC, because the charge hike takes away the flexibility to save, “setting the AC at 78 degrees could mean more sweat and less savings.”
2. Mandatory charges place the heaviest burden on seniors and dealing households who’re incomes decrease incomes – The largest impacts can be felt by prospects who’re least ready to afford the upper charges–those that use much less energy than common or have under-common revenue. Seniors on mounted incomes and renters dwelling in condo buildings are low energy customers, whereas working households are on tight month-to-month budgets. The common social safety examine in Georgia is just $1,382, which is already unfold too skinny between meals, lease, transportation, medical payments, and prescription prices. Like these different requirements, electrical energy is just not a luxurious. Just as Georgia doesn’t tax for primary groceries, utility firms shouldn’t cost a lot simply for primary entry.
3. Mandatory charges assist utility shareholders and executives, not prospects – Increasing prospects’ charges this a lot places income over folks–rising income for the advantage of shareholders and executives, somewhat than serving to prospects. Georgia Power made greater than $3.5 billion in profit over the last three years and paid their CEO millions of dollars per year, whereas prospects are left dealing with even larger electrical payments. With a lot revenue, and different, extra equitable methods of elevating income, the steep charge hike is unjustified.
4. Mandatory charges punish energy conservation and solar energy – High necessary charges scale back the payback of investments prospects have made in saving energy via energy effectivity measures like changing gentle bulbs, insulating their properties, or putting in solar panels. People who’ve performed all the fitting issues at their properties and companies to save energy and produce clear energy will truly be punished, somewhat than rewarded. Customers could have much less incentive to save energy and the environmental advantages of energy conservation can be diminished.
What Can You Do?
Georgia Power’s proposed charge hike might be defeated if we communicate up loudly in opposition! The hike is just not a performed deal but and can’t go into impact with out first getting approval by our elected energy regulators, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). So guarantee that your voice is heard: contact the PSC and state legislators and ask them to rise up for us!