Say you own a coffee shop. You’d like to install solar panels on your roof but can’t afford them. A company offers to install and lease you the equipment, provided you sign a long-term contract. The company will sell you energy at a cheaper rate than you already pay Georgia Power. No longer would you be so susceptible to spikes in electricity prices. Nor would your money be helping to support burning coal or nuclear power.Georgia law says you can’t do that.
That’s why SB 401 is in the Georgia Senate. It’s
a common-sense measure that would put people to work, create a new sector in Georgia’s economy, and promote clean energy. In addition, the legislation would help shield people from increases in electricity rates, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, have risen nearly 50 percent over the last seven years.Why would Georgia Power not like that?
because the utility is concerned this measure will cut into its profits. (It’s worth noting that, as a regulated monopoly, Georgia Power is guaranteed an 11 percent profit each year.)Do you get guaranteed an 11% profit on your investments every year? I didn’t think so.
You may recall gapower’s parent company, The Southern Company, declared itself incompetent to implement the new EPA rules about coal plant pollution. Instead:
Georgia Power is in the process of mothballing three of its coal plants because of stricter federal pollution requirements at the same time it’s doubling down on two new nuclear reactors near Augusta, which were approved by the feds last week. But the Peach State needs to further diversify its energy resources. Georgia Power had the opportunity to become a leader in the development of solar power in the Southeast, but it took a pass. Now it’s time to give others a chance.Somebody remind me: if Georgia Power is incompetent to run modern coal plants, why is Georgia Power competent to run nuclear plants?
Which would you prefer? Paying Georgia Power’s Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charge for its boondoggle nukes (look on your bill; if you’re a gapower customer, it’s on there)? Or being able to afford your own solar panels to generate your own electricity?
If you prefer the latter, you can help pass SB 401. Sign the petition, or call your state Senator.