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No surprise: Ga. Power rate hike unpopular

7:33 AM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- No one likes it when the price of a product they buy goes up, and Georgia Power Co. customers are no exception.

According to a poll released by the state chapter of the Sierra Club Wednesday, 67 percent of the Atlanta-based utility's customers oppose a proposed rate increase.

In response to another question posed in the survey, nearly 8 in 10 voters support the expanded use of renewable energy in Georgia, such as wind and solar.

"These are strong results that echo what we see nationwide, no matter how liberal or conservative the state," said Jim Williams, issue polling specialist with Public Policy Polling, the North Carolina-based polling firm that conducted the survey on behalf of the Sierra Club.

The state Public Service Commission is due to vote next week on a rate hike request for Georgia Power that's 40 percent smaller than the increase the utility originally filed for last summer.

RELATED | PSC holds hearing on Ga. Power rate proposal

Among other things, an agreement between Georgia Power and the PSC staff would do away with a plan the company had sought to begin charging a fee to customers who install solar panels at their homes or businesses.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said the utility plans to bring back the solar tariff proposal at a later date.

Under the proposed compromise, residential customer rates would increase by $2.19 per month on average starting Jan. 1, then rise by $3.61 a month in 2015 and $2.96 in 2016.

Kraft said nearly half of the increase would go toward complying with new environmental regulations mandated by the government.

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(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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