Although commissioners can make changes to the stip, history shows they rarely do. There is little advocates and intervenors can do to change the agreement that PSC staff reaches with Ga Power. It’s game over at that point.
On December 20th at 10 am, Ga PSC commissioners will vote on the entire stip as a block, not the individual components. This way no commissioner feels responsible as the vote is shared, and approval of the stip is done with one vote.
Advocates rarely get what they want except for some incremental items along the edge. The issues that were so hard fought over with hundreds of hours of hearings and thousands of dollars of expert analysis in attempts to protect customers are gone.
Unlike most states, the State of Georgia has no law or requirement that the Ga PSC adopt “just and reasonable rates”. Commissioners claim that’s what they are doing because that is what most other commissions do. Instead, Georgia’s regulatory body protects Ga Power from accountability by raising rates on captive customers to increase shareholder wealth while paying for Plant Vogtle.
An examination of the residential demand charge rate plan Ga Power calls “Smart Usage” is a clear example. As the AJC story shows below, customers in small dwellings often face bills that are double in size. No customer impact study was done prior to allowing Ga Power to make this dramatic change harming customers. This is one example of dozens.