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Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 9:01pm

PSC Opens Georgia Power Rate Hike Hearings

The state’s Public Service Commission this morning will open three days of public hearings on Georgia Power’s rate hike request.

The utility is asking to increase its retail rates by more than a billion dollars over three years. It also wants to streamline the way it raises rates in the future.

Georgia Power spokeman Jeff Wilson says the utility has spent about $5 billion in its system, when accounting for infrastructure and environmental controls.

"We certainly understand with the economic situation the significance of this rate case, but we have taken a number of steps to mitigate that impact. And again we're asking for recovery of costs."

There’s expected to be groups in opposition to the rate hike request.

That includes from the Georgia Retail Association, with big box and smaller retailers now on the same page in opposing the rate hike request. The Association's John Heavener.

"Part of it is that they want to be able to raise rates regularly. Second thing they want to raise rates to a level that's unrealistically high, unreasonably high. And we think that's a big issue for not just for the business consumer but all consumers."

The hearings this week are open to the public: Monday, October 4 at 9 a.m. ; Tuesday, October 5 at 10 a.m. ; Wednesday, October 6 at 9 a.m.

The PSC will hold additional hearings in November. A final decision would not come until late December.

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