Dear <<First Name>>,

Lifting the net-metering cap on solar would be a bright spot in the Georgia PSC's record. Here’s what I requested the PSC do during day 2 of the September hearings.

But first, I am looking for someone who is knowledgeable about Georgia’s ethics laws and campaign finance rules to help go through the expense reports of the commissioners. I’m also looking for people knowledgeable about expanding the reach and impact of this information to more people, either via traditional media or social media or publication.

If you are skilled in campaign finance rules, social media, or communications please reach out to

“I am here today to ask for 2 things:

  1. That you remove the rooftop solar net metering cap.

  1. AND that you remove excessive fees for community solar.

End the rooftop solar Net-metering cap

First, please end the rooftop solar net metering cap. Net metering is a policy choice to favor individual rights, to favor decentralized and demand-side solutions, and to encourage private investment in clean energy. By knee capping net metering, you are choosing not to support a consumer-empowered future.

Dr. Brown’s Testimony

Professor Brown from Ga Tech testified at this summer’s IRP hearings and showed the cost-shift that Ga Power cites as their reason not to remove the cap is a red-herring. Listen to that research.

Your arbitrary cap keeps Georgia in 40th place for rooftop solar. Over 40 states have net metering. Georgia should too. Even Kentucky and South Carolina have a better net metering program than Georgia.

Remove excessive fees for community solar

Next, please remove excessive fees you allow Ga Power to assess for community solar, killing that market. Your allowing these crazy fees harms low-income customers and people living in multifamily housing. It locks them out from participating in solar at a time when solar panel costs have dropped more than 60% in the past decade.

Your priorities

You like to talk about how Georgia is a #1 state to do business. Georgia Power President & CEO Chris Womack repeated that line yesterday. Not only is that a ridiculous metric it’s not even true, unless you listen to “Area Development”, whatever that is. Forbes and US News and World Reports do not rank Georgia in first place to do business.

Better metrics

Metrics you should care about because they are your responsibility include bill affordability; bill pay assistance; and consumer choice. Those are things you could be proud about if you cared about more than just Georgia Power’s bottom line.

Commissioners, you must know that when you refer people to the Salvation Army (Echols) and Project Share (Pridemore) those nonprofits accommodate less than 20% of the need. You are referring them to nothing, while nearly 20,000 Ga Power customers are disconnected every single month.

Ga Power Performance

Mr. Womack states that Ga Power has excellent performance as justification for the outsized profits you give them. Do they though?


Georgia Power is above the national average for utilities in two important industry performance metrics for power outages. For the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), Ga Power outage duration is 12% higher than the national average. That does not sounds like “excellent performance”. And the other important industry metric, System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), Ga Power was higher than the national average in 2016, 2019 and 2020. Hmmm…

Plant Vogtle

And Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle, the only nuclear plant under construction in the US, is now 7 years behind schedule and $14 billion over budget, making it the most expensive power plant ever built on Earth. Management failures and poor performance from Ga. Power are well documented by independent Vogtle monitor Donald Grace, June 2020 PSC testimony (pages 4-11) found here.

Bills, not rates

Ga Power likes to say their rates are 11% below the national average. Yet Georgia is 5th from the bottom in low cost of living for U.S. state rankings. 45 states are more expensive. Georgia Power rates should be far less than only 11% below the national average. They should be 90% below the national average. Furthermore, people don’t pay rates. They pay bills. And Georgia Power bills are well above the national average. Even people in California pay smaller bills than Georgians do for a variety of reasons, highest among them: their state commissions take their responsibility to bill affordability seriously. Bill affordability are rankings you should concern yourself with.

Please do better. Thank you.”

Thanks for reading and for being a supporter. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. I hope reading my comments to the Ga Public Service Commission has been helpful. There are numerous reasons why the commissioners aren’t protecting people from monopoly profit seeking and aren’t accelerating clean energy as they should. This email is already long, so I will write more about that in next week’s email.

There will be more hearings in November and more public pressure to accelerate rooftop and community solar will help.

-Patty Durand