The Sierra Club, AARP Georgia and Georgia Watch are sponsoring informational town hall meetings this month on Georgia Power's request for a $478 million rate hike, according to a Georgia Watch press release. The increase would take effect on January 1, 2014.
"Commissioners want to hear from the public before we vote on a proposed rate increase," said Georgia Public Commission Chairman Chuck Eaton. "The Town Hall meetings are an opportunity, outside of Atlanta, to listen to the utility's customers who would be affected by the rate case."
If the PSC okays the rate increase, the average residential bill will go up $8 a month. Georgia Power also wants the commission to increase its guaranteed profit to 11.5 percent. Plus, Georgia Power is asking to tack an additional fee on customers who install solar panels to power their homes, farms or small businesses if they use any Georgia Power electricity.
"AARP Georgia is willing to listen, but we find it hard to believe this is the best time for a rate increase, when thousands of older Georgians are already struggling," said David Pilgrem, associate state director of AARP Georgia.
The Athens Hearing is October 30, from 6:30 to 8pm, in the UGA Chapel. Other hearings are set for Savannah, Columbus and Gainesville. The PSC will take public comment at two hearings at 9 am on November 5 and 6 in Room 110 at 244 Washington Street, S.W., Atlanta.