2012 News Releases

12/4/2012
Commissioner Wise Recognizes Hurricane Sandy Storm Teams

ATLANTA, Dec. 4, 2012—Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise asked his colleagues today to recognize all those utility workers from the state of Georgia who assisted in the massive power restoration effort after Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent storm that devastated the northeastern United States this fall.

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11/29/2012
Georgia Public Service Commissioners Lower Fuel Rates for Georgia Power Company Customers

ATLANTA, November 29, 2012–-Today, Georgia Public Service Commission approved lower fuel rates for Georgia Power Company’s customers effective January 1, 2013. A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity for the month will save approximately $2.60 in summer (June through September) and $1.20 in winter (October through May).

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11/20/2012
Georgia Public Service Commission Votes on Two Solar Energy Topics

ATLANTA, November 20, 2012–Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) voted on two issues that impact solar energy development in Georgia. 

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11/20/2012
Georgia Public Service Commissioners Select Chuck Eaton as PSC Chairman for 2013 and 2014

ATLANTA, November 20, 2012–-Today, Commissioner Chuck Eaton was nominated by Chairman Tim Echols and  unanimously elected by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to a two-year term as the PSC Chairman.  Senate Bill 483, passed in March 2012, gave the Commissioners the right to select their own leadership. The law also changed the term of this office from one to two years for greater continuity and stability. 

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10/16/2012
Atlanta Is Safer Under Pipeline Safety Consent Agreement Approved By Public Service Commission

ATLANTA, October 16, 2012–Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved a Consent Agreement with the City of Atlanta. The Agreement resolves 67 alleged violations of the Georgia Utility Facility Protection Act (GUFPA), a law requiring anyone digging with mechanized equipment to call 8-1-1 so underground utilities can be located and properly marked and damage to natural gas and other underground lines can be prevented.

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9/20/2012
Statement from the Office of Georgia PSC Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald on Georgia Solar Utilities, Inc. Announcement

ATLANTA, GA, September 19, 2012—Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by Georgia Solar Utilities, Inc. (GaSU) of their innovative solar energy plan for Georgia.

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8/30/2012
Commission Announces Lifeline Awareness Week for September 10-16, 2012
ATLANTA, August 30, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission announces that Lifeline Awareness Week this year is September 10-16, 2012. The Commission’s focus this year is making consumers aware of new eligibility requirements adopted this year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Lifeline will provide eligible consumers with a $9.25 discount on their telecommunications service whether landline or cellular.

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8/21/2012
Commission Approves Sixth Nuclear Plant Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report Costs through December 31, 2011
ATLANTA, August 21, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission today approved Georgia Power Company’s Sixth Semi-annual Plant Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report (Report) in Docket 29849. The Commission unanimously adopted a Commission staff recommendation to verify and approve the Company’s filed expenditures through the period ending December 31, 2011 and to continue the Project as beneficial to the Company’s ratepayers

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7/17/2012
Commission Assesses Major Fees against Natural Gas Marketer Following Slamming Investigation
ATLANTA, July 17, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission today unanimously approved an agreement (or stipulation) between natural gas marketer MXenergy, Incorporated (MX) and the Commission Staff (Staff) to resolve complaints that the marketer changed customer’s natural gas from their current provider to MX without their consent. This practice is known as “slamming.” Under this agreement, MXenergy’s payments could total over $200,000.

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6/29/2012
Commission Transportation Functions Move to Department of Public Safety Sunday July 1, 2012

ATLANTA, June 29, 2012 – Effective this Sunday July 1, 2012, all Transportation functions now under the regulatory authority of the Georgia Public Service Commission will move to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) according to the provisions of House Bill 865. The Georgia General Assembly passed H.B. 865 this year and Governor Nathan Deal signed it  into law on May 1, 2012. This new law means DPS will assume regulatory authority for Household Goods Movers, Passenger Motor Carriers, Limousines and Non-consensual Towing

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6/18/2012
Commission's Transportation Unit Moves to Department of Public Safety on July 1, 2012

ATLANTA, June 18, 2012 – The Transportation Unit of the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) will officially move to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on July 1, 2012 under the provisions of House Bill 865 enacted this year by the Georgia General Assembly. Governor Nathan Deal signed H.B. 865 into law on May 1, 2012. DPS will assume regulatory authority for Household Goods Movers, Passenger Motor Carriers, Limousines and Non-consensual Towing.

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6/7/2012
Commission Approves Innovative Program for Pipeline Safety Training

ATLANTA, June 7, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission today unanimously approved an innovative program to train Georgia firefighters on how to respond and prevent incidents involving natural gas and liquid pipelines in Georgia. The program is funded through a $100,000 payment by Atlanta Gas Light Company as the result of the settlement of an incident involving alleged violations of federal pipeline safety regulations in Docket 35665. The incident occurred on June 7, 2011 in Cherokee County.

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6/4/2012
Commissioner Stan Wise Tours Shaw Modular Solutions : Louisiana-based fabricator is key Vogtle supplier

ATLANTA, June 4, 2012 – Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise received a first-hand look at the work being performed at Shaw Modular Solutions (SMS) in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in support of Georgia Power Nuclear Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4.  Commissioner Wise took a tour of the facility as part of a fact-finding mission to understand the scope of work, documentation trail and quality control procedures performed at SMS.

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5/30/2012
Statement from Georgia PSC Commissioner Doug Everett on Atlanta Gas Light Company’s CNG Station Announcement

ATLANTA, GA, May 30, 2012 - Georgia Public Service Commissioner Doug Everett issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by Atlanta Gas Light Company that it received proposals to award funding from the Universal Service Fund to construct new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at nine locations throughout Georgia.

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5/15/2012
Commission Cuts Georgia Power Fuel Rate Effective June 1, 2012

ATLANTA, May 15, 2012 – Georgia Power customers will see a reduction beginning June 1, 2012 in the charges they pay for the cost of fuel used to generate their electricity, one month earlier than scheduled. The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today unanimously approved June 1, 2012 as the date when Georgia Power will implement the reduction in the Fuel Cost Recovery (FCR) rate in Docket 35277. The average Georgia Power residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will see rates drop approximately $8 per month.

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5/1/2012
Governor Deal Signs Legislation Transferring Transportation Duties from PSC to the Department of Public Safety

ATLANTA, May 1, 2012 – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal today signed House Bill 865, which transfers all transportation functions currently under the regulatory authority of the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) to the Department of Public Safety (Public Safety) effective on July 1, 2012. Joining the Governor for the bill signing was: State Representative Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) the bill’s House sponsor; Commission Chairman Tim Echols, Commissioner Stan Wise, and Commissioner of Public Safety Mark W. McDonough; staff members from the Commission and Public Safety and representatives of the transportation industry

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4/26/2012
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton Asks Georgia Power Company To Lower Fuel Rates June 1 To Help Offset Summer Rates

Atlanta, April 26, 2012 – Today, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton asked Georgia Power Company to decrease its fuel recovery rates beginning June 1, one month in advance of the planned July 1 date.

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4/11/2012
Commission Joins with Governor Deal in Proclaiming April as Dig Safely Month

ATLANTA, April 11, 2012 – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed April 2012 as Dig Safely Month in Georgia. During a ceremony today at the State Capitol, Governor Deal presented a proclamation to Commissioner Doug Everett and Commissioner Stan Wise, who accepted on behalf of the Georgia Public Service Commission, and to Georgia 811 President and CEO Claudette Campbell. Also present were members of the Commission staff and representatives from the Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Power Company, Atlanta Gas Light Company, Atmos Energy, AT&T and STS who are involved in the prevention of damage to Georgia’s underground utility infrastructure.

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4/5/2012
Commission Offers Advice for Hiring Limousines and Other Passenger Carriers

Atlanta, April 5, 2012 – Prom and graduation season is here again and the Georgia Public Service Commission offers some helpful advice for Georgians who may be hiring passenger carriers for these events. Be aware of illegal companies. Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §§ 46-7-2, 46-7-3, 46-7-85.3, 46-7-85.4 and 46-7-12) all passenger carrier companies that fall under the Commission’s authority and operate within the state are required to be registered and have proof of insurance on file with the Commission. A list of the licensed companies can be found on the Commission’s website.

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4/3/2012
Commission Approves Pilot Electric Rate to Spur Manufacturing Jobs and Economic Development

ATLANTA, April 3, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today unanimously approved an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Pilot Rate by Georgia Power Company for manufacturers who use electric arc furnaces in order to encourage additional manufacturing in Georgia, increase employment opportunities and keep local industries competitive. The pilot program is designed to encourage greater utilization of energy by manufacturers and do so in a manner that will not shift costs to other ratepayers.

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3/29/2012
Customers of Georgia Power to Receive Fuel Rate Reduction of $567 Millon

Atlanta, March 30, 2012 - Georgia Power Company today filed fuel rate decreases with the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) that will reduce rates by $567 million annually or a monthly reduction of approximately 6 percent for the typical residential consumer averaging 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The reduced energy costs, anticipated to be in effect for a two-year period based on current fuel price projections, are mainly the result of conservative fiscal planning by the Commission and lower natural gas prices. 

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3/28/2012
Statement of Commissioner Chuck Eaton on House Passage of Senate Bill 483

Atlanta, March 28, 2012 – I am pleased with the House vote passing Senate Bill 483. This is an important step forward in allowing the Commission as a political body the right to elect its own leadership. This is a right held by many other political bodies in Georgia.  I believe the passage of Senate Bill 483 will provide stability and continuity of leadership for the Commission as we deal with many critical regulatory issues in the future. This legislation will allow the Commission to better serve the citizens of Georgia.

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3/20/2012
Commission Approves Decertification of Three Georgia Power Plants; Approves Purchase Power Agreements

ATLANTA, March 20, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today by a 4-1 vote approved Georgia Power’s request to decertify, that is, remove from service, two coal fired electric generation plants at Plant Branch in Putnam County, Georgia and one oil fired generation unit at Plant Mitchell in Mitchell County in southwest Georgia. Georgia Power filed its application in Docket Number 34218 to remove these plants due to pending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Commissioner Echols voted no on the proposal

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3/14/2012
Commissioner McDonald Calls for Repayment of Georgia Contributions to Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund

Atlanta, March 15, 2012 – Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr. says Georgia ratepayers need to be repaid their more than $1 billion in contributions into the federal Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund before the state repays its more than $757 million in loan obligations to the federal government for unemployment compensation benefits. “I believe there needs to be a true up,” said McDonald during the Commission’s Energy Committee meeting today.

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3/6/2012
Commissioner Wise Calls for Pilot Electric Rate to Encourage More Manufacturing in Georgia

Atlanta, March 6, 2012 – Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise today called on Georgia Power Company to file with the Commission a pilot rate for electric arc furnace (EAF) manufacturing plants. “Manufacturing is an important piece of Georgia’s economy,” said Wise. “I’ve worked with my colleagues to go ahead and encourage additional manufacturing resources, increase jobs in Georgia and provide support for these well-paid jobs that come from the manufacturing community. We need to keep our local companies competitive, not only to compete in Georgia and the southeast but to allow them to compete on a global basis as well.”

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3/2/2012
Commissioner Doug Everett I Issues Statement on Release of Request for Proposal for CNG Fueling Stations

Atlanta, March 1, 2012 – “I am extremely pleased that Georgia is one step closer to making a network of compressed natural gas fueling stations a reality, “said Commissioner Doug Everett.  “It has been more than a year and a half since I challenged Atlanta Gas Light to begin working on these stations. It is my hope that there will be a robust response to this proposal. I appreciate the support from my colleagues for their support last November in approving this proposal.”

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2/10/2012
Commission Approves Spending Plan for Plant Vogtle Construction

ATLANTA, February 10, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today unanimously approved Georgia Power’s latest request for approval of its expenditures at its Plant Vogtle nuclear power construction project near Waynesboro, Georgia. The Commission approved an agreement between the Company and the Commission’s Public Interest Advocacy Staff to settle issues in Georgia Power’s Fifth Semi-Annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report for the period ending June 30, 2011.

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2/9/2012
Commission Reacts to NRC Approval of Plant Vogtle Combined Construction and Operating License

ATLANTA, February 9, 2012 – Members of the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) are applauding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) to the Southern Nuclear Operating Company so that construction of the two new units at Plant Vogtle owned by Georgia Power and other co-owners can begin in earnest. This will be the first new nuclear power plant construction in the nation in 30 years.

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2/10/2012
Commissioner Wise Takes Part in Electricity Reliability Roundtable in Washington, D.c.

Atlanta, February 10, 2012 – Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise participated in the National Electricity Reliability Roundtable held February 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C, hosted by the Institute for the 21st Century, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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1/24/2012
Commission Approves Rate Reduction for Atmos Energy Customers

ATLANTA, January 24, 2012 – The Georgia Public Service Commission today approved a reduction in rates that will save Atmos Energy residential customers in Georgia $12.50 in 2012. The reduction is part of the Company’s first Georgia Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) that provides an overall rate reduction of more than $820,000 this year. Today’s action follows the Commission’s December 14, 2011 approval of a unique stipulation or settlement between Atmos and Commission Staff in Docket 34734. Georgia law allows the Commission to adopt alternative forms of regulation for natural gas utilities in Georgia.

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1/17/2012
Echols to Chair Commission in 2012

ATLANTA, January 17, 2012 – Commissioner Tim G. Echols begins a one-year term as Chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) for 2012, taking the gavel from outgoing Chairman Stan Wise. Echols is the newest member of the Commission,

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1/10/2012
Commissioners and Legislators Hear Presentation on Renewable Energy Technology

ATLANTA, January 10, 2012 – More than two dozen legislators, along with Commissioners Tim Echols and Chuck Eaton of the Georgia Public Service Commission, attended a presentation on Monday January 9, 2012 at the State Capitol on renewable energy initiatives and what those technologies mean for Georgia. General Electric (GE) Power and Water representatives described the challenges of integrating renewable generation resources into the power grid, based on a detailed study performed by GE Energy Consulting and the solutions GE offers to overcome these challenges.  The presentation also included an overview of flexible gas turbine technology, power plant evaluation techniques for the future renewable-saturated power grid, as well as information on GE's current solar portfolio products. 

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1/3/2012
Commissioner Stan Wise Requests Georgia Natural Marketers to Clarify Conflicting Reports on Georgia Natural Gas Prices

Atlanta, January 3, 2012 – Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise today requested that Georgia’s natural gas marketers file briefs with the Commission by Wednesday January 11, 2012 to explain the contradiction between a federal report that Atlanta area consumers paid more than 37 per cent higher natural gas prices in November 2011 compared to November 2010, and a report in the December 31, 2011 Wall Street Journal headlined “Natural Gas Falls to Two-Year Low.

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