Georgia Power's proposed fee hike is unjustified, inequitable and bad for consumers. It must be stopped. Read stories from Georgia Power customers who oppose the nearly doubling of the mandatory monthly fee, which is hidden on most customers' bills, and would result in customers paying $215/year before they even flip on the light.Kate Tracy and Chris Carnevale | November 15, 2019 | Energy Justice, Georgia, Utilities
This past month, hundreds of customers have spoken out against Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike that would make customers pay hundreds of dollars per year before even flipping on a light switch –– no matter how much or how little energy is used.
Take a look at previous blogs that highlight how much Georgia Power wants residential customers and farmers to pay if the fee hike should go into effect.
Georgia Power customers across the state have attended public town hall meetings, where they’ve spoken directly with members of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), rallied in Atlanta, and given comments at public hearings.
If Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike were to go into effect it would:
- Take away families ability to control their energy bill and save money
- Disproportionately hurt customers who use the least energy and are least able to afford the costly changes
- Punish energy conservation efforts and block solar energy
We’ve collected more than 100 stories that customers have submitted to the PSC in opposition to the fee hike, and selected a few that highlight the struggle that Georgia Power customers will face if the fee hike were to go into effect. Comments have not been edited in any way. Thank you, Georgians, for speaking up against the fee hike! If you haven’t yet submitted your own note to the PSC, please do so here.
SEND A NOTE TO THE GEORGIA PSC HERE
Customers Say Fee Hike Would Take Away Their Control Over Their Electric Bill
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because… I am a disabled grandmother living off of Social Security only. Fortunately, my house is paid for but keeping up my other utilities and expenses is nearly impossible as it is. This rate hike would just put another nail in my coffin financially. I try every single day to keep my electric bill as low as possible. This rate hike takes so much of that ability away from me. This is huge to me. Please do not allow this fee hike to go through.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Athens
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because this fee will not only place an undue burden on me as a senior living on a fixed income but it in effect would eliminate the economic benefit of being an environmentally conscious consumer. We need to be encouraging more conservation and energy efficiency not discouraging it. That means that those who use the most should pay the most. If Georgia Power wants yet more profits, they should institute a sliding scale rate that charges incrementally more for electricity use that increases the farther beyond a certain basic level a consumer goes.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Savannah
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike becauseI try to be a conscious energy user every day. I was already aware that I have to pay a flat amount of fees and taxes. While I don’t have a fixed income I don’t see the fairness in that flat amount adding higher when it already make an effort to use energy at cheaper times of the day the way that Georgia power asks of customers.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Atlanta
“I am against Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because it would DOUBLE the mandatory fee so that every customer will have to pay over $200 more per year even if they don’t use any electricity!I am currently unemployed and am trying to keep my costs down, and it is discouraging to hear about this fee hike.Why can’t GP make a modest increase like 20% or so, something people could afford more easily? Please do not approve this fee hike.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Atlanta
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because I do not think it is fair to charge more money for using less energy! Why should we the consumers pay higher bills and raise the profits and revenues for the big companies and its executives. This mandatory fee hike would make it impossible for the consumers to control their bills. I just think this is wrong, wrong, wrong!” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Loganville
Customers Say Fee Hike Would Increase The Overall Burden Of Their Energy Bill And Harm Those Least Able To Afford It
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because…After Medicare I get $628 Social Security.Ido everything I can to keep my bill down but I don’t know how I could pay the increase.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Bowman
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because.. I am retired, living on a fixed income. Any rate hikes will directly affect living conditions.I am already having a difficult time making ends meet with the cost of everyday needs, such as, groceries, fuel, medical insurance, and taxes going up yearly, sometimes monthly.Rate hikes will hurt all retires.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Warner Robins
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because…I ALREADY CAN BARELY AFFORD MY POWER BILL AS IT IS.i use the least amount of power possible!!!! i constantly get on to my roommates about lights they leave on unnecessarily. DAILY i turn off my AC or heat for several hours at a time in hopes that my power bill will be more affordable by the time the bill is due. Georgia Power is a complete MONOPOLY in the whole southeast, WHY do they need more money????? the people you serve are SUFFERING!” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Augusta
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because this will disproportionately affect the most economically vulnerable groups in this state. These include low-income families and elderly retirees. Electricity is a necessity for the citizens of our state and such a fee hike is shamefully regressive. Some people already have trouble paying for food and medications; let’s not add electricity to that list!” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Sandy Springs
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because many in my area live on fixed income. These rate hikes will hurt.” – Clay, Hinesville
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because Georgians already pay exorbitant power fees as it is.My power bill for my personal residence almost doubled just since last year. This is after changing all my standard light bulbs to LED, which is supposed to use less electricity.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Midland
“I am a Ga Power customer who has just installed solar panels to help reduce our energy consumption, save money and help reduce our carbon footprint. This huge rate hike will cut deeply into the pay back of our system and our Return On Investment.In addition my family has participated in the Project Share Program for years as a way to help others pay for their power bills. Economists tell us there is a growing divide between the rich and the poor folks in our country. This huge hike will impact the poor in our state much more than any other population. They already worry about paying their bills and now their power bills will be higher even if the are not using any more power.At times they must decide between paying rent or paying a power bill and rent wins out.As our temperatures in Ga increase over the years as the climate for our region changes, we will all be using more energy to cool our homes. The poor once again will be under more stress as these basic services take a larger percentage of their monthly income.It is for all of these reasons that I oppose this proposed rate hike.” – Wade
Customers Say Fee Hike Would Reduce The Incentive To Conserve Energy And Go Solar
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because my husband and I just installed solar panels on the house that we’ve lived in for 25 years.We’re excited about the prospect of reducing our carbon footprint. However, we made the investment in our 5 kilowatt system based on Georgia Power’s current rates and fees. I worry what a gigantic increase in the flat fee will do to the return on our investment, and I worry that adopting one of the highest flat fees in the country will keep other Georgia Power customers from going solar.We should be encouraging energy conservation, not discouraging it. Please say no to Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike.” – Sara, Covington
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because…It’s unnecessary! Your shareholders are benefiting handsomely now while the rest of us simply pour our money into their pockets.We have always been conservation minded using as little electricity as possible because we understand the negative effects of burning coal and using large amounts of water, which is why we invested in solar. Being frugal not wasteful is also important, so we try to use less not more to save money on our electricity bills. This move blocks our ability to do so by adding additional charges that don’t give us anything in return.In my community we have a large population of individuals who struggle every day, sometimes working three jobs, to sustain themselves and their families. They are using the least amount of electricity but paying disproportionately more, which is unfair to the extreme. They are trying to save, too!!!For three years now we have been using solar energy, a renewable resource, in order to save electricity and money. Much of those savings will disappear with this rate hike effectively placing an undue burden on our finances while we are working hard to ensure that we can, as seniors, pay our way as we age without depending on others to help us. But, that ideal becomes increasingly difficult when you and others keep chipping away at those efforts. This is patently unfair to us, as well. YOU SHOULD BE ENCOURAGING SOLAR NOT DISCOURAGING IT!I oppose this rate hike!” – Heidi, Athens
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because…there is absolutely no tenable rational for the fee hike. GP provides a service and I am absolutely willing to pay for the service I USE. We, as a family, are being intentional about reducing our carbon footprint & consciously using less power- for our earth and our wallets. That intentionality should be reflected & rewarded in our reduced bills. GP should be a leader in this field. Nix the fee hike and do what is right.” – Elizabeth, Roswell
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because we are a family the consistently tries to reduce our energy use. We are looking into solar for our home but found, from the outset, that fees and costs for doing something so good for the environment is actively discouraged by state and city fees.We just spent time in Germany where you see solar on literally almost every home. They have created a system where doing the right thing to combat climate change and save people money is practical and easy to do. Moving to Augusta from Minnesota has been a cultural shock in this regard. We pictured moving to a place with almost constant sunshine there would be a culture of solar but that could not be further from reality. Please stop Georgia Power from preying on individuals who are trying to save money by using less power and instead focus on creating renewable energy policies that our environment and population desperately needs.” – Paula, Augusta
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because this is a step backwards in our state’s progress to reduce emissions. Additionally, the effects will hurt Georgia farmers, businesses, and impoverished Georgians who rely on electricity every day. Why would we hurt the backbone of our economy while we already pay extraordinarily high rates for electricity as is? There is NO fair or logical reason to raise prices.In defense of our planet, our climate, and the futures of Georgians, I beg you to oppose this rate hike. I want a future where we can all survive, not one polluted beyond the point of no return. Not only will our future be corrupted if we continue down this path of punishing energy conservation, but our present will as well: agricultural customers will pay over $300 a year before ever using electricity! Climate change has already caused immense damage to crops in the form of droughts and hurricane storm damage. Electricity costs for irrigation and repair will skyrocket immediately as a DIRECT RESULT of this rate hike, with the effects ranging as high as a 48% increase in irrigation costs. Our farmers have already lost so much – are we going to take this from them, too?You represent us, the Georgia constituents, business people, farmers, and future voters. If we want a green, affordable future that is fair to ALL GEORGIANS, we cannot institute this rate hike.” – Alexandra, Alpharetta
Customers Say Fee Hike Shows A Lack of Corporate Accountability
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because I am a retired single man trying to live on a single income.It is not increasing annually at the same rate as my utilities.Necessary things such as food, medical care and utilities should not be a source of profit at the same rate as other businesses.It is immoral to abuse people so.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Canton
“Many consumers cannot afford this additional fee and especially my low and fixed income clients who I assist with reducing their energy burden. The cost of everything else in their budgets has gone up, including items like transportation, healthcare insurance, pharmaceuticals, and groceries. This type of fee does not make a more responsible and accountable power company. Consumers, on the other hand, who are encouraged to change energy use habits and make investments in more energy efficient living conditions can’t impact these monthly fees. A responsible and responsive power company understands its business plan and should not be boasting about “low energy rates” when taxpayers already pay for material and supply chain subsidies, the construction of additional power plants like Vogtle, and are responsible for waste cleanup and mitigating natural resource destruction along with rising healthcare and gasoline costs from declining air quality. This is an irresponsible move for a public monopoly that should not be allowed to raise money using monthly fees to cover line items they did not forecast as part of their long-term business plan.” – Patrick, Woodstock
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because… Access to electricity is a necessity. GA power is monopoly on service in our area means that we have no option to choose a business with more ethical policies. The proposed rate hike adds no additional value, nor does it move our community closer to sustainable energy solutions. It takes money needed or other basic needs such as food and healthcare from the most vulnerable citizens and those who are doing their part to reduce overall energy consumption and puts that money into the pockets of those who are already profiting from the continued degradation of our environment.” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Carrollton
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because of its adverse impact on consumers, especially those with fixed or low incomes.In addition, I believe the company should absorb the cost of its own management failures, not pass these along to the consumers. Worst of all, the proposed increase is in a fee that all Georgia Power customers must pay, even those who try to conserve energy (and their money) and protect the environment by using less electricity!” – Customer who prefers to stay anonymous, Hinesville
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because…1. It is unnecessary…if Georgia Power needs additional revenue to maintain its profit margins, they should cut their overhead expenses like other companies in the same situation have to do. 2. They could accomplish the same thing by raising the per kW/hr price…which would make it “visible” instead of trying to hide it in a “connection fee”. 3. They don’t appear to have provided any justification for the increase in connection fees. 4. They are taking advantage of their regulatory status…being an electric utility does not excuse them from frugal business practices. 5. Whether one is a Georgia Power customer, or belong to a cooperative which gets its power from GA Power, these cost increases roll down hill to the end-user.” – Terry, Suwanee
“I oppose Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike because I know that we already pay now for our electricity than other states, to begin with – then there’s the issue that as a person who’ll retire someone over the next 2-3 years, I’ll not be able to afford the kind of rates you are proposing.That one cannot save money by using less is predatory. PREDATORY!Also, it’s not my fault that the PSC allowed so much money to be spent on Plant Vogel.” – Martha, Decatur
Click here to add your voice by sending a letter to your elected Public Service Commissioner and let the them know why you oppose this fee hike!