Georgia Power customers to pay $139 million less toward Vogtle


Georgia Power customers will soon see a small reduction in their monthly bills, now that they’ll be paying $139 million less toward the expansion of Plant Vogtle this year.

The utility company said customers will pay $2.70 a month less, starting in April.

Georgia Power attributes the savings to recent federal tax changes that lowered the corporate tax rate, meaning not as much is needed from customers to pay for Vogtle expansion. Also, it said, Toshiba has paid Georgia Power and its partners in Plant Vogtle the remaining $3.2 billion of the guarantee it promised following the bankruptcy by Westinghouse Electric Company.

VIDEO: Previous coverage on this issue

The company says it will provide to the commission the full impact of the changes in the federal tax laws by February 20, adding that the savings would “minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills.”

The announcement comes amid swirling concerns among advocacy groups about the economic impact of the project, the only new nuclear plant being built in the country.

Georgia ratepayers pay roughly $100 each year to finance the project.

The utility’s latest announcement follows an order by the commission in December to provide its customers three $25 bill credits by September, as a way to extend benefits from the full Toshiba payment to ratepayers. Georgia Power said its customers would receive $188 million of the $1.5 billion the company received from the Toshiba Guaranty.

“Of course, customer’s bills should go down. That is not a fact for Georgia Power to pat itself on the back,” said Liz Coyle, Executive Director at Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group. She argued Georgia Powers’ mismanagement of the project had saddled customers with higher bills.

“You can’t fix total incompetence,” she said of the company.

Georgia Power customers can also expect to see additional benefits following an order by the PSC to refund its customers another $43.6 million that the company received in earnings above the allowed range in 2016. The company says it is working with the commissioners to determine the amounts and timing of the refund.

Regulators will convene Thursday to hear a petition by Georgia Watch, which challenged the commission’s recent orders on Vogtle. “If the commission is going to raise the certified capital cost, they have to have a re-certification meeting, which they did not do,” argued Coyle.

The certified amount for the project from 2009 was $4.4 billion. Frequent delays that have been characteristic of the project have increased projected cost estimates. Most recently, PSC staff warned commissioners approving the company’s revised costs would “preclude the ability” of future commissions to disallow unreasonable costs.

As the PSC convenes to consider Georgia Watch’s concerns, construction continues at the two units in Waynesboro.

Georgia Power recently announced the placement of the pressurizer inside unit 3, which the company says will provide pressure control inside the reactor coolant once the unit becomes operational.

The company also reported 45 percent progress on unit 3. The company’s latest estimates place completion of both units by 2022.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Delta debuts uniforms in ‘Passport Plum’ with launch Tuesday
Delta debuts uniforms in ‘Passport Plum’ with launch Tuesday

Delta Air Lines is about to debut its new uniforms for flight attendants and other employees with designer Zac Posen. Atlanta-based Delta has been preparing for months for the Tuesday launch of the new uniforms. Posen will make an appearance at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Monday afternoon, around the same time that the first crew wearing...
Delta warns of flight cancellations due to subtropical storm Alberto
Delta warns of flight cancellations due to subtropical storm Alberto

Delta Air Lines is warning that it expects it will have to cancel flights due to subtropical storm Alberto. The storm is expected to make landfall just west of Panama City on Monday afternoon with heavy rain and strong wind affecting areas in Alberto’s path, according to Delta. Atlanta-based Delta said it expects delays and cancellations as the...
Ex-Googler turns mom's money into a billion dollars
Ex-Googler turns mom's money into a billion dollars

After Steven Yang left his coveted job at Google, he asked his mother whether he should take venture-capital money to fund his business idea. » RELATED: Do you have the new Gmail? Google’s email gets massive redesign If his online consumer-electronics enterprise was a risky bet, she told him, go with the venture capitalists. But if...
This is the most dangerous day of the week to drive
This is the most dangerous day of the week to drive

Despite several years of steady declines, deadly vehicle crashes are on the rise, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.           » RELATED: Metro Atlanta drivers pay some of nation's highest costs The safest day to be on the road: Tuesday....
Starbucks’ racial-bias training will be costly, but could pay off in the long run
Starbucks’ racial-bias training will be costly, but could pay off in the long run

As Starbucks prepares to close stores for racial-bias training next week, the coffee giant will not only be confronting a difficult and emotional issue, but will incur some hefty expenses in the process.           » RELATED: Black men arrested at Starbucks settle for...
More Stories