It amazes me that the more things change the more things stay the same. Growing up in Atlanta, I remember many days where my parents had to choose between paying the electric bill or buying groceries for our family. Now, in 2019, many households throughout Georgia face the same dilemma. On Tuesday, December 17, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) decided to hit Georgians with an average increase of $175 annually to our electricity bills including a 40% hike in the monthly fee we pay no matter how much energy we save. Just today, the PSC also approved a rate increase to our natural gas rates, adding $2.54 to our monthly gas bills! These favorable rulings for Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light still leave struggling households with some of the highest energy bills in the nation. In the PSC’s rush to protect utility companies and their shareholders, we are still unclear what provisions will be in place to lessen the long-term impacts of higher utility bills on our most burdened families.
The Public Service Commission has failed to think about all Georgians once again by choosing utility companies and corporate interests over the people they have sworn to serve. Never the less, the Partnership for Southern Equity and its ecosystem of committed advocates and community leaders will continue the fight for energy justice for current and future generations. Next year (2020) will bring two PSC seats up for election. This means we have a lot more work to do and more opportunities to bring relief to Georgia households. By way of the election, we can remind the Public Service Commissioners who their real bosses are – Georgia voters.
We thank you for your strength as a community of conscience; for demonstrating with us, for joining more than 20,000 other concerned customers that wrote to Commissioners, and for speaking out at public hearings. As we gear up to continue to #FIGHTTHEHIKE, we invite you to share your reactions, thoughts, and insights on our social media channels below and with your PSC representative. Let us take heart this holiday season, recuperate from this week, and continue to fight the good fight for equity. Our future depends on it.
Clean Power for the People,
Founder and Chief Equity Officer
Partnership for Southern Equity