ATLANTA, Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today it has filed a request with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to reduce fuel rates by 11 percent, or approximately $268 million, in annual fuel billings. The decrease in fuel costs is primarily driven by lower natural gas prices as a result of increased natural gas supplies driven by strong production levels.
If approved by the PSC on or around Dec. 15, the new, lower fuel rates will be effective Jan. 1, 2016. A typical residential customer averaging 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month could see a fuel savings of approximately $4, or 3 percent, on their total monthly bill.
Due to proactive planning and a commitment to a diverse fuel mix, Georgia Power is able to take advantage of lower natural gas prices. As part of this commitment, the company continues to cultivate a flexible generation portfolio to meet Georgia's future energy needs, including newer combined-cycle natural gas generation at Plant McDonough-Atkinson, thousands of solar panels being installed across the state and the new nuclear units under construction at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro.
Fuel rates are set separately from base rates. Georgia Power does not earn a profit on fuel costs and is allowed recovery of all prudently incurred fuel costs. While fuel rates will decrease in 2016, the company's base rates will increase as the result of a separate filing Georgia Power must submit (as part of the 2013 rate settlement agreement) to the PSC by Oct. 2 to address environmental and other costs. The proposed decrease in fuel rates is expected to more than offset this projected increase to base rates.
To learn more about how Georgia Power leverages its diverse generation mix to provide customers with reliable and affordable energy, visit www.georgiapower.com/about-energy.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning expected future rate filings and expected impacts on rates. Georgia Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Georgia Power Company is subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Georgia Power Company operates; variations in demand for electricity; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, unforeseen engineering or design problems, start-up activities (including major equipment failure and system integration), and/or operational performance (including additional costs to satisfy any operational parameters ultimately adopted by the Georgia Public Service Commission ("PSC")); the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; the ability to successfully operate generating, transmission, and distribution facilities and the successful performance of necessary corporate functions; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to the Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia PSC approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions and related legal proceedings involving the commercial parties; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities, including environmental, health, regulatory, natural disaster, terrorism, and financial risks; the ability of counterparties of Georgia Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with wholesale customers; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power Company's business resulting from cyber intrusion or terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; changes in Georgia Power Company's credit ratings, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, and collateral requirements; the impacts of any sovereign financial issues; the ability of Georgia Power Company to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on Georgia Power Company's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid or operation of generating resources; the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard-setting bodies. Georgia Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
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SOURCE Georgia Power
For further information: Media Relations, (404) 506-7676 or (800) 282-1696, www.georgiapower.com