Georgia Power's proposed large increase in customer charges may significantly affect farmers. See how much your bill would increase if the proposal is approved.Maggie Shober and Chris Carnevale | September 8, 2019
Georgia Power’s Proposed Rate Adjustment for Agricultural Customers
Georgia Power has proposed a series of rate increases for nearly all of its customers, and due to the structure of the proposal, Georgia farmers may feel the brunt of the proposed rate hike. Georgia Power’s proposal not only seeks to increase the charge for the energy used, but also seeks to double farmers’ monthly “Basic Service Charge” – a mandatory fee paid for each electric meter.
In addition to hitting every Georgia Power rural residential meter, the mandatory fee increases are a particularly bad deal for any farmer who has more than one meter. Many farmers have a separate meter for each irrigation pivot, which means they pay the monthly fee several times over. Since the monthly fee is mandatory, it cannot be lowered no matter how little energy you use. If Georgia Power’s proposal is approved, agricultural customers will owe up to nearly $350 per year, per meter, before using any electricity, depending on the rate plan.
Georgia Power offers five different rate plans for agricultural customers; the table below shows how they would double the basic service charge for each tariff:
To help understand what this proposal would actually look like for farmers served by Georgia Power, SACE looked at the impacts for the two agricultural rate tariffs with the greatest number of customers: “Farm Service,” which has about 1,773 customers and “Irrigation Off-Peak,” which has about 684 customers, according to Georgia Power.
Farm Service Customers
Bill impacts for Farm Service customers will vary depending on their monthly load and number of meters. To help estimate the impact on your electric bills, SACE calculated the annual dollar increase and percent increase in bills based on either annual electricity usage or current average monthly bills.
Estimated Bill Impacts, Based on Annual Electricity Usage – Farm Service Customers
Estimated Bill Impacts, Based on Current Electric Bill – Farm Service Customers
Note: To estimate bill impacts, SACE assumed the portion of usage (kWh) that occurred during on-peak and off-peak summer hours was consistent for all customers, and based on the average usage provided in rate case documents (usage from Volume 1, Exhibit 1, M.F.R Item F-4, proposed rates from Exhibit LTL-2).
Irrigation Off-Peak Customers
Impacts for Irrigation Off-Peak customers will also vary depending on monthly load and number of meters. To help estimate the impact on your electric bills, SACE calculated the annual dollar increase and percent increase in bills based on annual electricity usage and current average monthly bills.
Estimated Bill Impacts, Based on Annual Electricity Usage – Irrigation Off-Peak Customers
Estimated Bill Impacts Based on Current Electric Bill – Irrigation Off-Peak Customers
Note: For these calculations SACE assumed all customers have the average demand for the customer class of 7.13 kW, based on usage levels described in rate case documents (usage from Volume 1, Exhibit 1, M.F.R Item F-4, proposed rates from Exhibit LTL-2).
To read about how the proposed fee hikes will impact residential customers, read our other posting here.