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Letter: New power fees need PSC explaining

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Posted: March 1, 2008 5:11 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    We rely on the Georgia Public Service Commission to fairly regulate power costs, and at least keep us well-informed concerning new charges. Last month's Georgia Power invoice did contain a note for the new "franchise fee", but did not explain that this charge is 2.5084 percent of the cost of your power usage, which includes the $7.50 monthly meter fee and the new environmental compliance costs. How was this overly-complicated percentage determined? Is the extra .0084 percent above 2.5 really necessary? More importantly, where is this money being used?
    The new environmental compliance cost allows Georgia Power to recover $223,000,000 that was spent to protect the environment. The power company has indicated that this monthly fee will average about $3.60 and presumably will be collected from each of the 1.9 million Georgia homeowners. This amounts to about $82,000,000 per year, so that in less than three years this ECC charge should stop, and no longer appear on customers' bills. Can the PSC publicly confirm this conclusion?
    Previous Letters to the Editor have described the questionable applying of a sales tax to all Georgia Power fees, and here again this unproved practice continues, including the new franchise fee. It should be noted that the 5 percent franchise fee collected by Northland Cable Television is not taxed. Is anyone on the PSC listening?
John E. Carlson
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