Dear <<First Name>>,

On December 20th at 10 AM the Georgia PSC is going to vote on Ga Power’s $2.9 rate hike proposal and solar energy blocking requests. Isn’t it nice how they take important votes just days before Christmas so people are distracted?

But pay attention: No state agency controls more of your money than the Georgia PSC. No state agency determines our energy future and response to climate change more fully. That’s why I am scared for Georgia. Their track record is pretty horrible and this vote lasts for three years. There won’t be another vote to changes the issues before them until 2025.

One of the silver linings of my election being postponed to 2023 is that two commissioners are up for election a few months after this vote. Commissioners Echols and Johnson could be particularly responsive to public pressure.

This AJC article does a good job summarizing issues under dispute between Public Interest Advisory Staff and external intervenors (those who support the public interest), vs Ga Power.

Le me add my two cents worth. There are 3 main issues:

First, $2.9 billion is far too much money and the items driving those billions such as a $100 million DERMS system while having little distributed energy now or planned, or $2 billion in unproven transmission upgrade needs; or a $2 billion "grid improvement plan" to increase reliability a few seconds was shown during testimony to be brinksmanship in pursuit of growing profits and dividends.

See relevant testimony here. It’s really eye opening. And shocking to read.

Second, Ga Power continues to block distributed energy such as rooftop solar by asking to end their net metering program due to a "cost' shift" that was shown in testimony to actually not be taking place. To put nails in the coffin Ga Power wants a $200 interconnection fee and to force rooftop solar customers onto a demand charge rate plan despite analysis that the plan raises bills and does not send appropriate price signals to customers because the fee is non-coincident peak, and because there is no info on the bill about the fee (or online) to guide customers.

See relevant testimony here page 15.

And here page 11. (different experts)

Georgia needs about 20x the amount of solar in place now to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and only rooftop solar can provide that scale.

Last month was one of the warmest Novembers Georgia has ever experienced. I’m waiting for the analysis.

Georgia is already one of the highest carbon emitters in the nation. And the Ga PSC approved 3 more fossil gas PPAs totaling 2300 MWs in this summer's Integrated Resource Plan, at Ga Power’s request. This is absolutely shameful. Ga Power wants to ensure their natural gas subsidiary Atlanta Gas Light gets all the money they need. Georgian’s already owe $2 billion in gas fuel surcharges from last year’s price volatility which is another addition to bills coming next year. And gas prices will continue to be volatile due to the war in Ukraine.

Georgia will continue to be a high carbon emitter at a time of destructive and increasingly negative climate change impacts. See state rankings on carbon emissions here. Excerpt below:

Third, Ga Power is asking to expand the residential demand charge rate plan (falsely called Smart Usage). Analysis provided from intervenors show that over 90% of low use customers pay substantially more, in some cases double, just as reports provided to the commission in 2019 in opposition to this rate plan said would happen. Georgia Power already disconnects over 20,000 people per month:

People are already hurting. These numbers are shocking. It’s evil to expand a rate plan they know harms vulnerable customers. How dare they claim to be a good community partner.

See relevant testimony here, page 48.

This rate increase is the 3rd largest in the nation, just behind two California utilities who are undergrounding their lines to reduce wildfire risks. The truth is Georgia Power is seeking these billions because of the cost of building two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. Without this huge pot of new money Wall Street will downgrade Ga Power's credit ratings again - and already did but will further penalize the company for its failure to deliver -and Southern Company stock value will drop. Since the Ga PSC is responsible for approving Plant Vogtle they won’t let that happen.

What can you do? Raise the pressure on these elected officials by letting them know you are watching and will hold them accountable for their Dec. 20th vote at the next election.

Email them at

Tell them you want the net metering program expanded to support rooftop solar and you want them to protect you from Ga Power’s failures with Plant Vogtle by voting against this rate increase. Ask them to repeal the Smart Usage rate plan because you care about inequality and want them to protect the public from monopoly pricing abuse.

Even better than email: contact them on Twitter and Facebook. They will not like to be held accountable on social media where everyone can see. Let them know how you feel. That you are watching. That you know Echols and Johnson are up for election next year. And Pridemore in 24 and their vote Dec. 20 will determine your vote on their election.

@TPridemore (Trisha Pridemore)



@ShawforGeorgia (Jason Shaw)

@BubbaPSC (Bubba McDonald)

Public comment for rooftop solar was amazing! It was great to see the people who took the trouble to come down to the commission and be heard. To see some of the comments click here:

Let’s keep the pressure up with your voice too.

To learn more visit a website I created just for this rate case: www.StoptheGeorgiaPowerGreed. There are details and a scorecard for commission votes.

Another way you can help is by expanding my platform. Please send this email to others asking them to sign up. Please post on your social media pages. Like and follow my social media pages below.

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. Happy holidays.

- Patty Durand