PSC rejects move to stop Ga. Power’s nuclear charge

[private]The Public Service Commission put down an attempt Tuesday by Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald to halt Georgia Power’s collection of a monthly nuclear construction fee from its customers.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to “hold” McDonald’s motion to kill the fee until they can get a ruling on its legality from the attorney general’s office.

“I’m concerned it’s a position that’s contrary to state law,” Commission Chairman Stan Wise said of McDonald’s proposal.

Georgia Power has been adding a nuclear construction surcharge to the monthly bills of residential and small business customers since 2011 to pay the financing costs of the Plant Vogtle nuclear project. Large business and industrial customers are exempt from paying the fee.

The surcharge adds about $100 a year to the average customer bill and totals about $500 million annually for Georgia Power.

With the Vogtle project now in question because of huge cost overruns and the bankruptcy of the primary contractor, Westinghouse Electric, McDonald is asking the PSC to put a halt to the monthly surcharge as of July 1.

“I understand there are hiccups involved (with the project),” McDonald said. “I also understand the ratepayers today have paid millions into this NCCR (nuclear) fund.”

“What if they collect it from now through August and they pull the plug (on Vogtle)?” McDonald asked.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Bubba McDonald , Georgia Power , monthly surcharge , Plant Vogtle , PSC