Georgia Power seeks cost recovery for infrastructure investments
ATLANTA, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for permission to increase its base rates approximately $482 million, or 6.1 percent. The request is being made to allow the company to recover the costs of recent and future investments in infrastructure –including environmental controls, transmission and distribution, generation, and smart grid technologies – required in order to maintain high levels of reliability and superior customer service.
The proposed change in rates would be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
"We're committed to delivering value to our customers in the form of clean, safe, reliable electricity at rates below the national average, and we're committed to being a partner that our customers can depend on day-in, day-out," said Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We will continue to invest what is required to deliver the world-class value our customers deserve and expect and to serve Georgia's current and future energy needs."
If the request is approved, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of about 6.7 percent, or $7.84.
Georgia Power consistently offers rates that are below the national average. Over the past 26 years, the company's total retail rate has averaged more than 13 percent below the national average. Since 1990, its base price has increased by 23 percent, compared to a 76 percent increase for general inflation. In fact, the company's total retail rate, which includes base rate and fuel costs, has lagged the rate of inflation for the same time period.
Georgia Power's commitment to delivering value to customers includes:
- A diverse generation mix consisting of cost-effective options such as nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewables – solar, wind and biomass – to offer the best long-term, low-cost value to customers.
- Customer programs and tools, including energy efficiency programs for both residential and commercial customers and new user-friendly tools such as My Power Usage, an online tool which allows residential customers to take control of their energy use by tracking their daily energy costs, viewing their projected monthly bill and more.
- Reducing emissions to meet federal and state environmental standards. Georgia Power currently manages a $5 billion environmental compliance construction program. By 2015, the company anticipates reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 85 percent and sulfur dioxide emissions by 95 percent from 1990 levels and achieving significant reductions in mercury and particulate emissions – reductions which have been achieved while also increasing overall generation capacity by 10 percent during that time.
- Reliability and "smart grid technologies," including the recently completed installation of digital meters across the state and an integrated vegetation management program to help to ensure a stable and efficient grid and reliable service for customers.
- Economic development activities to grow Georgia's economy. Since 2010, Georgia Power has helped secure nearly 26,000 jobs and more than $6 billion in new investment for the state.
The PSC will hold public hearings in October and November 2013. A final decision is expected Dec. 17, 2013.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning Georgia Power's filing with the Georgia PSC to increase retail base rates and modify existing base rate tariffs (2013 Rate Case), as well as statements regarding projected earnings, capital expenditures, impact on customers, and emissions reductions. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms and the 2013 Rate Case; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, environmental laws including regulation of water, coal combustion byproducts, and emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, carbon, soot, particulate matter, hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, and other substances, financial reform legislation, and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Georgia Power is subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries, including the pending Environmental Protection Agency civil action against Georgia Power, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission matters, and Internal Revenue Service and state tax audits; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Georgia Power operates; variations in demand for electricity, including those relating to weather, the general economy and recovery from the recent recession, population and business growth (and declines), the effects of energy conservation measures, and any potential economic impacts resulting from federal fiscal decisions; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, including the development and construction of facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, and to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; investment performance of employee benefit plans and Georgia Power's nuclear decommissioning trust funds; advances in technology; regulatory approvals and actions related to the Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia PSC approvals, Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions, and potential U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities, including environmental, health, regulatory, natural disaster, terrorism, and financial risks; the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with wholesale customers; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power's business resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents, including cyber intrusion; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Georgia Power's credit ratings; the impacts of any potential U.S. credit rating downgrade or other sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the availability or benefits of proposed U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; the ability of Georgia Power to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid or operation of generating resources; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Georgia Power