Georgia Power customers will soon see an increase in their monthly bills. SB 31 - known as the Georgia Power tax - will force Georgians to prepay $1.6 billion for the financing of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta - company shareholders will pocket $1 billion of that prepayment.

Georgians will see an increase in monthly power bills as early as 2011 even though the reactors will not produce a sinlge a kilowatt of energy until, at least, 2017…

Georgia Power has claimed monthly increases will not surpass $9.10 per household, per month, but these projections are based on the company’s low ball estimates. Similar projects in Florida and Alabama have seen projected costs rise three times as much once construction was underway.

During the recent 2009 legislative session, Georgia Watch, along with other advocacy groups, fought to have SB 31 voted down by lawmakers. At the end of the day, many did cast their vote in support of their constituents, but unfortunately too many were swayed by Georgia Power’s 70 lobbyists. SB 31 passed swiftly through both chambers.

Senator Robert Brown Introduces Repeal of Georgia Power Tax

In April, 09 Senator Robert Brown prepared legislation that would repeal SB 31 – known as the Georgia Power Tax – that was signed by the governor earlier in the week. If not repealed, Georgians will face steep increases in their power bills to pre-fund two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. A similar effort is now underway in Florida to reverse a similar scheme enacted in that state.

Brown’s legislation likely will not stop Georgia Power’s tax increase for Plant Vogtle, since the Public Service Commission has already rubber-stamped Georgia Power’s request.