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      Georgia Power rate hikes take effect Jan. 1

      Georgia Power customers should expect their bills to increase starting Jan 1, 2014.

      "What the rate case will mean for customers is over the next three years, there will be increases each year," said Jay Smith, Georgia Power area manager.

      The Georgia Public Safety Commission approved a nearly $900 million rate hike for Georgia Power, the state's largest utility.

      "Nearly half of the increase is going to pay for environmental controls that we, nor the suppliers, nor anybody really...can point the finger to and say that's why it's going up," Smith said.

      The fee increases have many concerned but say it's something that is out of their control.

      "The best thing I can say is we have to buckle down and do the things because we need it. We can't get around it. It's a monopoly," said local business owner Johnny Williams.

      The rate increase will affect Georgia Power's 2.5 million customers. Customers should also expect to see a monthly increase of $3.61 in 2015 and $2.96 in 2016.

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