ATLANTA — The Georgia Public Service Commission has approved an $873 million Georgia Power rate increase.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday that residential customers will see their monthly power bills increase by about $2.19 in 2014. Rates will increase by $3.61 in 2015 and again by $2.96 in 2016.
The company originally planned a $1.46 billion rate hike, but cut the amount after reaching agreements with the Public Service Commission, consumers and others.
The approval came despite public opposition expressed at a series of town meetings across the state, including one in Gainesville on Oct. 29. The meetings were sponsored by the Georgia Sierra Club and Georgia Watch to let commissioners hear public input on the proposed rate increase.
Public Service Commissioners Tim Echols and Lauren “Bubba” McDonald participated in the meeting at the Brenau Downtown Center.
The Sierra Club is an environmental organization, and Georgia Watch is a consumer advocacy nonprofit.
As part of the extra revenue the power company wants to collect from ratepayers, which include most Gainesville residents inside the city limits, Georgia Power plans to make upgrades to existing coal-fired power plants that don’t meet new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.
Carol Boatright, spokeswoman with Georgia Power, had said the current rate plan would expire Dec. 31.