Savannah Electric today received a decision from the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) on its first base rate case in three years. The Commission approved the stipulated agreement that was reached last week between the GPSC Staff and the company. The decision follows a six-month process of hearings, data exchange and negotiations.
Rather than the traditional rate case result, the agreement will be in effect for three years, bringing a measure of base rate stability to customers. New rates will be reflected in customers June bills.
Based on current estimates, a typical residential customer using 1200 kwh a month would see an increase in their average monthly bill of about $3 from around $109 to $112. The average annual increase of 2.8% will apply across the board to residential, commercial and industrial customers.
The company and the GPSC agreed to provide a larger discount for eligible low-income, senior citizens. As adopted, the monthly discount increased from $10.50 to $14. This means that for a typical low income senior citizen customer using 840 kwh/mo, the total bill would actually decrease 1.1 percent per month. Actual bills and savings will vary based on differing usage levels, seasonal factors, unpaid balances and other factors.
The three year rate plan results in a smaller increase than the amount originally requested by the company and will present challenges in managing the business. However, the company believes the value of base rate stability and a joint agreement with the GPSC Staff, which avoids back-to-back rate cases, delivers benefits to both the company and its customers.
The Savannah area has experienced steady economic growth since the companys last rate case. In just three years, Savannah Electric provided service to almost 9,000 new customers and peak summer demand increased by 100,000 kilowatts.
The most significant factor prompting this rate case was the addition of new, highly efficient generating capacity at the companys Plant McIntosh in Effingham County. The company has also made substantial investments in transmission and distribution facilities to maintain reliability while extending service to additional customers throughout the region. For example, the company has built more new substations in the past several years than in the previous decade.
The additional revenues will help the company pay for the power plants, poles, wires, employees and other costs of serving rising demand.
Savannah Electric will maintain rate options that offer price incentives to customers who can shift some of their electrical usage from higher cost to lower cost hours of the day. These plans are even available to residential and small business customers.
The company will continue to emphasize energy efficiency and existing payment options like budget billing that may help customers adjust to higher energy costs. A list of helpful efficiency tips are listed below this release. Additional information is available online at www.savannahelectric.com or by calling the company at 1-800-437-3890.
Savannah Electric, a subsidiary of Southern Company, serves over 140,000 customers in Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Bulloch and Screven counties in Southeast Georgia.
Energy Efficiency Advice from Savannah Electric
Invest for long-term energy efficiency:
Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing or replacing appliances. You can lock in energy savings for years to come.
Investigate the need to have attic ductwork sealed. Loose joints and ducts mean you may be heating or cooling your attic or crawlspaces.
Consider adding insulation to your home. With older homes especially, you can benefit from adding high R-value insulation to the attic. Make sure new homes are built with high R-value insulation in floors and walls as well.
Make sure doors and windows seal properly with weather-stripping or caulking
Add storm doors to reduce heat exchange and when building, use at least double-pane, energy efficient windows
Repair leaky hot water faucets
Have a reputable company maintain your heating and cooling system
Consider replacing large area incandescent lighting with high efficiency fluorescent fixtures. Replace other incandescent bulbs with long-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs
Simple habits and practices can save money too:
Clean or change your air conditioners air filter monthly
Close blinds or drapes to help keep out the suns heat
Use fans to move the air. This helps you feel cooler with a higher thermostat setting and fans use little energy compared to air conditioners.
Run exhaust fans to remove steam from cooking or bathing areas, but only until steam is gone
Use large steam-producing appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or at night. You will stay more comfortable and your cooling system will not work as hard
Keep in and out household traffic to a minimum if you use air conditioning
Consider all the items you need from the refrigerator or freezer before opening the door
Use task lighting when possible instead of full-room lighting to lower costs and reduce heat build-up
Clean or change your heating systems air filter monthly
Open drapes and blinds each day to let in the sun`s warmth. Close them after dark to hold in the heat.
Use exhaust fans sparingly. Steam from cooking or bathing can add warmth and moisture to the home, improving comfort.
Use ovens, dryers and dishwashers when the family is in living areas, such as early evening during the winter. The extra heat can help you use a lower thermostat setting.
Run ceiling fans on low and reverse their direction to gently push warm air from the ceilings back to the floor.
Make sure the fireplace flue is closed when not in use. A great deal of heat is lost up the chimney.
Set your thermostat and leave it there, especially if you have an electric heat pump. This will minimize the amount of time that heat strips operate.
Finally, visit www.savannahelectric.com or call 1-800-437-3890 for a free energy check-up. Its quick and easy. We`ll provide suggestions customized for your home. Or you can ask to schedule an in-home energy audit.