PSC approves Georgia Power rate increase

Georgia Power customers, your bills are going up next year.

The Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved an $873 million rate hike for the state’s largest utility at a meeting Tuesday morning.

Residential consumers will pay an estimated $2.19 more in 2014.

That amount will increase another $3.61 in 2015 and another $2.96 in 2016.

The utility originally proposed a $1.46 billion rate hike for its 2.4 million residential and business customers. Georgia Power cut that amount by 40 percent after reaching an agreement with PSC staff, consumer advocates and others.

Georgia Power said in June it needed to boost bills to pay for pollution equipment on its coal-burning power plants, as well as to add transmission lines and install smart grid technologies.

As a regulated monopoly, Georgia Power is allowed to recoup its capital costs from consumers plus earn a set profit.

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