Georgia Power’s rate hike request is coming under scrutiny in 3 days of testimony before the Public Service Commission. Opponents say the current economy does not justify the increase.
Georgia power wants approval to raise its rates to bring in a billion dollars. The average bill would go up by $11 dollars a month. Georgia retailers are opposing the idea and so are advocacy groups like the AARP. Outside the state capitol, the AARP’s Barry Reed said Georgia’s current economic climate is not ready for higher electric bills.
“This is not the time to boost the profits of Georgia Power Company on the back of Georgian’s struggling just to make ends meet,” Reed says.
Georgia Power CEO Mike Garrett told the PSC in the hearing that the company had to spend a lot of money on pollution controls at its power plants. He says any money from the rate hike is meant to reimburse the Georgia power.
“They are designed to recover cost to the customers that we have today,” Garrett says.
In August Moody’s investor services downgraded Georgia Power, citing weak financial metrics and rate uncertainty. The Public Service Commission will decide on the rate increase in December.