Georgia Power's base electric rates will remain flat through 2019. The announcement follows a vote by the members of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on an agreement connected to the pending merger of Southern Co. (the parent company of Georgia Power) and AGL Resources.
This three-year rate assurance is in addition to a net reduction of about $2.50 in the overall monthly bill for the typical residential customer primarily driven by a 14 percent decrease in the fuel rate. This reduction was effective January 1.
Georgia Power traditionally files a base electric rate case with the Georgia PSC every three years to consider new and existing costs to provide reliable electric service to its 2.5 million customers. The company's next base electric rate case was originally scheduled for this summer.
However, as part of the agreement, Georgia Power, Southern Co., AGL Resources, Georgia PSC Staff and other parties agreed that the company's next base electric rate case should be postponed until July 2019 to ensure that benefits that the potential merger could bring to Georgia customers can be fully realized.
The company's last base electric rate case in 2013 incorporated the costs of investments in infrastructure required to maintain high levels of reliability and customer service. Investments in place today as a result of this process include new environmental controls on the company's generation fleet and improvements in the transmission and distribution network such as smart grid technologies to limit the frequency and duration of power outages.
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. The company's total retail price of 9.22 cents per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2015 was more than 14 percent below the national average.