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Ga. Power reducing charges
Changes go into effect June 1
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Georgia Power customers will see a reduction beginning June 1 in the charges they pay for the cost of fuel used to generate electricity.

The Georgia Public Service Commission last week unanimously approved June 1 as the date when Georgia Power will implement the reduction. The average Georgia Power residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see rates drop approximately $8 per month.

“With so much bad news surfacing these days, it is nice to be able to say your summer electric rates won’t be quite as high,” Commission Chairman Tim Echols said. “Having a diverse energy mix that includes natural gas-fired electricity has made this possible.”

Commissioners Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise said the company and commission worked together to make the cut possible.

“The fiscally conservative attitude of the commission and the willingness of the company to work with the commission will now pay a great benefit for ratepayers,” Wise said.

Under Georgia law, Georgia Power is entitled to recover fuel costs associated with generating electricity and such costs are passed through to ratepayers. Beginning more than a decade ago, fuel prices increased sharply due to limited energy supplies in the United States and increased demand worldwide, according to a release from the commission.

To reduce the impact on customers that an immediate dollar-for-dollar pass-through would have had on monthly bills, the commission required the utility to carry a fuel cost balance. Although it has fluctuated, the under-recovered balance at one time reached close to $1 billion, according to the release. The balance was paid off on March 31.

Georgia Power filed on March 30 to implement the new rate effective July 1. The Company filed a request to reduce fuel rates by $567 million annually or a monthly reduction of approximately six percent for a typical residential consumer. The reduced energy costs are expected to be in effect two years.

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