Georgia Power plans to raise prices

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The utility wants to raise prices by 6.1 percent. That means a typical monthly bill of 1,000 kilowatt hours would increase by $7.84 a month, Georgia Power said.

Georgia Power customer? Prepare to pay more.

The utility wants to raise prices by 6.1 percent. That means a typical monthly bill of 1,000 kilowatt hours would increase by $7.84 a month, Georgia Power said.

In a filing to the state on Friday, the company said it needs the extra money-- almost $482 million-- to pay for pollution equipment on its coal-burning power plants, as well as to add transmission lines and install smart grid technologies.

The Public Service Commission still has to approve Georgia Power’s request and will vote in December after a series of hearings.

This is the latest in a rash of rate hikes since 2011, although falling fuel costs have offset those increases.

Georgia Power and its parent, Atlanta-based Southern Co., have said for years that federal environmental regulations will drive up customer bills. The company is already spending $5 billion on controlling pollution and on efforts to cut mercury and other toxins from its coal-burning power plants.

Environmental advocates say the rules will lead to cleaner air and have pushed the utility to add more renewable energy, especially solar power. Georgia Power has so far resisted doing so, saying that renewable fuels are expensive and will drive up consumer bills even more.

Georgia Power says its customers pay about 10 to 15 percent less on their utility bills than the national average.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.