State lawmakers will be back at the Capitol in two weeks to start the 2014 General Assembly session and advocates have already been working on their legislative agendas. “We are also expecting it to be a very fast session—gavel in, gavel out—and that just means we have to be ready to hit the ground running,” said Liz Coyle, deputy director of Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group.
The state commission that regulates utilities unanimously approved a power rate hike Tuesday. It will be phased in over the next three years. Georgia Power customers will see their average residential bills increase by $2.19 starting Jan. 1. Then, they will increase by $3.61 in 2015 and by $2.96 in 2016. The rate hike will help pay for additional transmission lines, and new grid technology. Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise says the hike also needed to pay for pollution control at the utility’s coal plants.
People can now enroll in health insurance on Healthcare.gov. The federal government unveiled upgrades to the site Sunday. “You don’t get these error messages that say you’ve put in your user name incorrectly. You don’t get all these messages that say, ‘Page Cannot Be Found,’” said Karla Johnson, a licensed healthcare navigator and director of community education for the consumer advocacy group Georgia Watch.
The state Public Service Commission voted Thursday to approve Georgia Power’s 20-year energy plan – including an additional 525 megawatts of solar power. Along with the utility’s existing solar program, that will bring almost 800 megawatts of solar online by 2016.
The state Public Service Commission is gearing up for a big vote later this week. It's on Georgia Power’s 20-year plan for providing energy to customers. The utility wants to shutter 16 coal- and oil-fired units, but it is drawing criticism for not including more solar energy and other renewables in the mix.
The state Public Service Commission votes next week on Georgia Power’s 20-year plan, the road map for providing electricity to 2.4 million customers. That includes the mix of fuels the company will use and the efforts the company undertakes to get customers to use less energy. This happens every few years. But this time, Georgia Power also wants to retire 16 coal- and oil-fired power-generating units at six power plants.
A coalition pushing for ethics reform begins holding town hall meetings around Georgia on Tuesday. The groups are starting in Macon to promote their campaign to pass a $100 cap on lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers.
Public Service Commission staff [today/Thursday] recommended the panel certify construction costs for Plant Vogtle from July through December of 2011. That means utility experts think Georgia Power spent money wisely building the nuclear plant in east Georgia.