Groups Urge Georgia PSC to Stand with Customers and Deny Fee Hike

Chris Carnevale | December 13, 2019 | Energy Justice, Georgia, Utilities

Over the past 10 weeks, through several hearings and public input sessions, the Georgia Public Service Commission has worked through difficult issues that Georgia Power has brought forth in their rate case. The Commission’s job now is to weigh the evidence and fulfill its duty to ensure reasonably-priced power to customers. To that end:

  • The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, along with Consumer Reports, Sierra Club, Partnership for Southern Equity, and Georgia Conservation Voters appreciate Chairman McDonald’s good faith efforts to get parties to reach common ground. And we applaud his leadership in drafting a comprehensive motion.  These are complex, multi-dimensional proceedings. Certain topics, like the Basic Service Charge (or fixed fee), demand additional attention.  
  • We support the Commissioner Advisory Staff’s recommendation to reject the adoption of the faulty methodology Georgia Power uses to calculate customer costs, resulting in overcharging customers for access to power. The Commission Advisory Staff recommended that “the Commission reject adoption of the MDS methodology for use in the COS Study” and order Georgia Power “to address the flaws in its MDS as identified by PIA Staff, including addressing the issue identified by GIPL/Southface/Vote Solar where a customer with multiple meters pays the BSC multiple times.” We support this recommendation, particularly so that Georgia Power will not use the flawed methodology the same way in their next rate case.
  • Unjustified costs should not be tacked onto the monthly customer fee. As evidence in the record shows, increasing the Basic Service charge is neither necessary nor in the public interest. On the contrary, increases in the monthly fee would take away some of customers’ ability to control their energy costs, would disincentive using less energy through solar or energy efficiency, and would have the hardest impact on low-usage customers, which seniors and households earning lower incomes tend to be. Therefore, the Basic Service Charge should remain at its current level of $10 per month.

The Public Service Commission has the unique ability to stand up for their constituents in the face of egregious proposals, such as that which Georgia Power has put forth. We look forward to the PSC’s decision next week in the interest of consumers.

Learn more about the ongoing Georgia Power Rate Case
Chris Carnevale
Chris is SACE’s Climate Advocacy Director. Chris joined the SACE staff in 2011 to help with building public understanding and engagement around clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. Chris…
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