Dear <<First Name>>,

First the bad news. Actually, it’s all bad news.

1. Winter heating bills are going to be costly. Georgians already pay 50% above the national average on our gas bills because of the influence Atlanta Gas Light during Georgia’s natural gas deregulation in the 90s. They were able to bake in large monthly fees no matter how little gas you use.

In addition to that, the decade of cheap fossil gas from fracking is over due to new export capabilities, and due to greater demand from a rising middle class in India and China as well as the war in Ukraine. Here are the headlines I’m seeing.

Gas prices are record-high and not coming down. You should lock in a 12 or 24-month contract with a gas provider for the lowest rate you can find. Several gas providers have been mailing postcards with deals. Take one of those deals. If you don’t lock in you will be paying variable (spot) rates and that will be very expensive for you. You can look up natural gas providers and their prices on the PSC website here. High utility bills destabilizes families who make trade-offs among bills and often become victims of predatory payday loans or title pawn shops. Do what you can to limit your risk.

Also get a heat pump as soon as you can! Here is a nifty calculator that shows what incentives you can get from the Inflation Reduction Act. You will save money on heating bills immediately.

2. Ga Power is in crisis and we’re on the menu: Ga Power is asking for so much new money that our electric bills are likely to increase 45% in 2023. That’s because Plant Vogtle, the nuclear expansion underway since 2009, is sucking money to the tune of $200 million per month. Ga Power is looking for ways to continue to deliver shareholder wealth while building the most expensive power plant ever built on earth, now at $34 billion. This is monopoly abuse of power and must be stopped. If you want details of what makes up the 45% increase look below my signature.

3. Rooftop solar is a no: Ga Power is asking the Ga PSC to continue blocking net-metering which means the moribund solar energy market in Georgia will continue to die. It is possible that incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act will spur some new customers anyway so Ga Power has decided to ask for a $200 fee to make sure that solar still doesn’t pencil out for Georgians. Ga Power also wants high fees on community solar to remain in place too so that only utiilty solar, which profits them, is built in Georgia.

Here is a chart that shows what that looks like. Note that levels of rooftop solar and community solar (dark blue and green) are so tiny as to barely register. Georgia is the 14th sunniest state in the nation, yet in 40th place for rooftop solar, soon to drop further. This is monopoly abuse of power.

4. Georgia Power is asking to expand a predatory rate plan they falsely call Smart Usage but is actually a demand charge rate plan. This rate plan harms people living in small and medium size dwelling by attaching a large monthly fee that is inappropriate for residential customers, and then hiding the fee on the bill. I have a dozen bills from people on that rate plan where they’ve paid 50-100% more than if they were on the traditional rate plan. This is also monopoly abuse of power. No other state allows a demand charge rate plan for their residential customers.

What you can do

Next Tuesday & Wednesday Nov. 8 & 9, the Ga PSC has another two days of hearings to hear expert testimony starting at 9:00 AM, and public comment about all of this. The public comment period goes until 10:30 am. Come down to the commission and tell commissioners what you think about all this. It is their job to protect Ga Power customers from monopoly abuse. Are they doing that? (Note: No). Location: 244 Washington Street SW, Atlanta GA. There is street parking. I can provide you with talking points or you can use the details in this email. Or you can just say NO: Stop the Georgia Power Greed.

The vote to approve, defer or deny will be held on Tuesday December 20th, about 48 days from now.

If you can’t make it, you can email the commissioners at with this free template and tell them to say NO to Georgia Power’s greed.

Thanks for being a supporter and for reading. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.

- Patty Durand

Drivers of 45% increase in electric bills:
1. Ga Power is asking the Ga PSC for $3 billion increase in revenue collections to begin in 2023. That is on top of the $1 billion added to our rates in 2020-2022, larger than the next 10 utilities combined.

2. Ga Power will seek reimbursement of $2 billion in uncollected natural gas fuel surcharges to begin in Q2 2023. (Yet they want to build 6 new gas plants while blocking rooftop solar).

3. Ga Power will seek reimbursement on construction costs of Plant Vogtle’s nuclear expansion: Unit 3 will increase bills about 10% 30 days after commercial operation, currently scheduled for Q1 2023.

4. Ga Power will seek reimbursement for Unit 4 in Q4 of 2023 – again 30 days after that unit becomes commercially operational.

If you like to read:
5. Georgia solar energy industry blog about what Ga Power is doing to solar in Georgia:

6. Twitter thread about what Ga Power is doing to stop solar in Georgia:

7. Georgia Power earned $2 billion in profits for Q2 and $1.5 billion profits for Q3 and has overcharged customers $1.9 billion.