Savannah residents respond to possible Georgia Power bill increases

Crew working on power pole
Crew working on power pole(WTOC)
Updated: Sep. 16, 2019 at 11:49 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia Power bills could go up in 2020. Back in June 2019, the company submitted a request to increase fees and rates over the next three years.

Georgia Power said in an announcement that the proposed increase would raise customer rates by seven percent in 2020. According to the company, residential would go up about $10 a month.

Savannah residents are concerned over the possible rising power bills. Many agreed in Monday night’s rally group to travel to Atlanta and speak out in hearings against Georgia Power’s rate case with the Georgia Public Service Commission.

In 2019, the base rate fee is $10. This is the fee just to have a Georgia Power account and hookup, no matter how much or little power a resident uses. Over the next three years, the proposed increases would add almost $8 to that base fee per month.

Wan Smith, an organizer with the partnership for Southern Equity, said these increases could impact fixed income households the most.

“We found out about this rate and fee proposal and how significant that was. We know that households are already burdened and to have specific burdens around utilities and energy, they would be impacted in a major way,” Smith said.

Georgia has been impacted by three hurricanes in the last three years where Georgia Power has not increased rates or fees. Company spokesperson, John Kraft, said the extra $2.2 billion generated would contribute to hurricane restoration.

“No one particularly wants to hear of a bill going up, naturally, but we have heard from customers who understand. It’s been six years since our last rate case.”

The Public Services Commission will have the final say. According to Georgia Power, the decision is expected in December.

The Partnership for Southern Equity is planning demonstrations around hearings with the Public Services Commission Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Nov. 4-7, and Nov. 25-26.

Marilyn Jackson, a Savannah resident, plans to participate in the community rally against the increases. She said this would have a big impact as she raises her family on a fixed income.

“When we get back home and tell our friends and family, they are going to write letters to the CEO, they are going to go to Atlanta and speak. All of the people in this room are a powerhouse," Jackson said. “Georgia Power is not going to win this game. We are. We the people.”

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