Progress: PSC to hold rate-increase hearings in Macon, Rome, Savannah

Rare move by state agency that decides how much you pay in gas, electricity bills

It’s sad that constituent outreach is news, but hey, this is the Peach State. And this is big news.

The Georgia Public Service Commission, the state agency that decides how much you pay to turn on your lights and heat your oven, is getting all Kerouac on us and embracing the open road, brah.

The five-member commission voted today to venture outside its Atlanta offices to hold hearings about two rate increases proposed by Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light. Consumer advocates AARP and Georgia Watch requested the uncommon move because the utility’s requested rate increase were so eye-poppingly gigantic.

If approved by commissioners, Georgia Power’s proposed $1.02 billion rate hike would phase in over 26 months starting next January. According to Georgia Watch, it would ultimately add $18 per month to the average residential ratepayer’s bill, for a total of $216 every year. The utility also wants the OK for a plan that allows it to automatically increase rates rather than file a case with the PSC. All this in addition to the surcharge customers can expect to see on their bills come January to help pay for two new nuclear reactors near Augusta.

AGL’s proposed $54 million rate hike would take effect in November and, according to Georgia Watch, add approximately $3 per month to the average residential ratepayer’s bill.

Ya see why we said it was high time to regulate the regulators?