Angela Speir joins Georgia Watch

Her term at its end, Georgia Public Service Commissioner long considered agency’s most vocal consumer advocate joins...state’s most well-known consumer advocacy group.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Angela Speir, who opted not to run for another term on the state agency that regulates utilities and telecommunication in the state, will join consumer watchdog group Georgia Watch as its deputy director in January.

“I am honored to become the deputy director of Georgia Watch, our state’s leading consumer watchdog organization,” Speir said in a press release. “It has been a blessing to serve the people of Georgia on the Public Service Commission for the past six years. I worked hard to represent Georgians on the commission and I will continue to be a hardworking advocate for Georgians at Georgia Watch.”

Speir will also launch the group’s Consumer Energy program. She’ll serve as senior program director on that initiative.

According to a press release, the Consumer Energy program will:

analyze and develop positions on legislative and regulatory proposals that affect utility pricing, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The program will also work to raise awareness of the functions of the Public Service Commission (PSC), to increase public access to the PSC, and to encourage public involvement in important legislative and regulatory decisions that affect energy cost and availability.

During her six-year term, Speir has been heralded as a consumer advocate and a voice for Georgians. She was the first woman elected to the PSC. Her notable work includes banning private communications between commissioners and the industries they regulate.

“Ultimately, our goal with this newest Georgia Watch program is to establish a credible consumer voice in Georgia on energy cost, efficiency and conservation issues,” Georgia Watch Executive Director Allison Wall said. “There is no more knowledgeable and respected advocate to shape and direct this program than former PSC Commissioner Angela Speir.”

Speir’s spot on the commission will be filled by Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, the Democrat-turned-Republican she unseated in a surprising 2002 election. McDonald defeated Democratic opponent Jim Powell, a first-time political candidate who fought a residency challenge all the way to state Supreme Court, in the Dec. 2 runoff election.