Georgia Power officials say that they have asked the Georgia Public Service Commission for permission to increase their base rates approximately $482 million, or 6.1 percent.
Officials say that the request is being made to allow the company to recover the costs of recent and future investments in infrastructure â"including environmental controls, transmission and distribution, generation, and smart grid technologies.
The proposed change in rates would be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
"We're committed to delivering value to our customers in the form of clean, safe, reliable electricity at rates below the national average, and we're committed to being a partner that our customers can depend on day-in, day-out," said Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We will continue to invest what is required to deliver the world-class value our customers deserve and expect and to serve Georgia's current and future energy needs."
If the request is approved, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of about 6.7 percent, or $7.84.
Georgia Power consistently offers rates that are below the national average. Over the past 26 years, the company's total retail rate has averaged more than 13 percent below the national average. Since 1990, its base price has increased by 23 percent, compared to a 76 percent increase for general inflation. In fact, the company's total retail rate, which includes base rate and fuel costs, has lagged the rate of inflation for the same time period.
Officials say that the Public Service Commission will hold public hearings regarding the rate changes in October and November, with a final decision expected in December.