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Press Release: Georgia WAND disappointed in PSC decision to approve Georgia Power rate hikes, burden general public

Atlanta -The Georgia Public Service Commission came to a final decision today, voting 4-1, to allow Georgia Power an 11.15% return on equity which, coupled with a nuclear construction tariff, means ratepayers are now facing an average $15 increase on their monthly power bills beginning in 2011.

“We are extremely disappointed in this decision. Goliath, once again, had his day,” Bobbie Paul, Executive Director, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions said.“These hikes could not have come at worse time for ratepayers suffering the worst economic downturn in decades, especially in order to fund Georgia Power’s choice irresponsible investment in high-risk energy. The public has been left in the dark on this issue. Few people understand the PSC, the close financial ties most commissioners have to Georgia Power, and how directly PSC decisions impact their pocketbooks."

Georgia Power is planning the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. This costly venture necessitates federal loan guarantees in the amount of $ 8.7 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy. In order to qualify for these loans and afford processing fees, Georgia Power must increase its revenues from ratepayers, shifting the financial burden from their executives and stockholders to their customers.

The general public present at the meeting voiced their disappointment with the final decision.

“In a world in which most people, if they’re lucky enough to have investments,  are not seeing anywhere close to an 11.15% return on those investments, it is wrong for our Public Service Commissioners to virtually guarantee excessive profits to Georgia Power going forward," Barbara Antonoplos of Atlanta said.

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