Georgia Power Sucks Sucks Sucks!

Yeah, that’s right. 3 Sucks. And that’s letting them off light.

Several years back, Georgia Power took over Savannah Electric, and since then, prices have been steadily increasing while quality of service has been in rapid decline.

Earlier today, July 5, my power went out. It also went out on July 3. It also went out on July 2. It also went out on July 1. It also went out June 30.

That means that so far in July, it has gone out four out of five days, and it has gone out five of the last six days.

I’ve checked with my neighbors, and their power has gone out as well, so it’s not just me– it’s everyone in my neighborhood, or at least on my block.

Every time the power goes out, I have to go around and reset clocks. Lots of them. Fridge, coffee maker, radios, etc. It’s a real pain in the butt. Every time the power goes out and comes back on, it puts extra and unnecessary strain on my home electronics, causing all my computers to forcefully shut down and then power back on when the restored power surges down the line. Every time the power goes out, my house heats up very, very fast, and my air conditioning has to work extra hard and extra long to return my house to the pre-power-loss temperature. Every time my power goes out, my freezer stops making ice, my fridge cools, and my food starts to spoil.

It doesn’t make sense that the power went out in the last five out of six days. The temperature and humidity, in Savannah terms, has been low. 90 degree days, 80 degree humidity. We’ve only had one storm. At the end of June, we had a good week-long run where it was in the high 90s, and we didn’t experience a single outage.

Beyond that, Georgia Power has this crazy graduated billing wherein during the summer months, they nearly double the price once you meet a certain threshold (very easy to do in a big old inefficient house like ours and all our neighbors’ and, well, just about all of our Established-In-1733 city).

Furthering the suckedness that is Georgia Power is their bills. Their bills are miserably inadequate at best. Basically, the bill consists of four line items:

  • Current Service- The amount due for the actual power used (although this is very, very misleading, and fails to include hidden fees– one of which happens to be 46.5% of the actual energy cost).
  • Environmental Compliance Cost – A tariff implemented to allow for recovery of costs related to environmental controls mandated by state and federal regulations. This charge is 6.1246% of the “Base Charge” ($7.50/month for the pleasure of doing business) + Current Service + DSM charge (Demand Side Management Residential Rider– whatever the hell that is)
  • Franchise Fee – Compensation paid, apparently for the city of Savannah, for utility companies’ use of city property and right of way. 2.5084% of the total revenue.
  • Sales Tax – We all know what this is. But the nice part is that we pay sales tax on the Environmental Compliance Cost, along with the Franchise Fee. Gotta love being taxed on taxes.

On June 30, I emailed Georgia Power to ask them exactly how they come up with my bill. They told me they would get back to me within one business day. They never did. Here is my email:

Hello,

I searched all over your website and cannot find the answers to my questions. Your prompt response is appreciated in this matter.

I am trying to figure out how my bill is calculated because, according to my math and information provided by the Georgia Public Service Commission, it appears as though I am paying more anticipated.

Can you please tell me how the “Current Service” total from my bill is calculated?

Please be sure to include the Base Charge, the price amount I pay per kilowatt hour (including variable pricing due to usage levels), as well as the Demand Side Management Residential Rider amount, the Fuel Cost Rider, and any other fees or charges that impact the “Current Services” field on my bill.

Additionally, please include how the Environmental Compliance Cost is calculated, as well as the Franchise fee, and the tax rate I am being charged.

Thank you,

I have to go now, for it is raining lightly and I expect the power to go out any moment. Coming in Part II of Georgia Power Sucks, Sucks, Sucks: A detailed breakdown, the best I can, of the exorbitant fees Georgia Power includes as part of our “Current Service.”

30 thoughts on “Georgia Power Sucks Sucks Sucks!

  1. I have had service from 6 different power companies in different areas I have lived. Georgia Power is by far the worst power company I have ever used. Too bad there is not a feasible way to bring in competition.

  2. I live in Atlanta, but am originally from Savannah. You are so right. GA Power SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. I am really trying to figure out what the “fuel cost rider” charge is that constitutes half the bill. So far I’ve had no luck…

  3. yeah georgia power is a piece of shit the people that work there are worthless

  4. You are right, Georgia Power is terrible. Fortunately, I gave them up last year and connected to Jackson EMC. It’s a major improvement, they’re always pumping electricity except in beyond-horrible storms. That is my recommendation and get rid of Georgia Power. :)

  5. Georgia Power, they are asses, I just moved from Sawanee EMC ( great company) and we have two house ( until the one got rented out) I got a bill in, and can pay them in 4 days, when i get payroll. Bill is due in two days and they will not let me pay late , 2 days later. If i do, i haveto pay a 150.00 deposit, what a bunch of assholes! I called them, they do not care at all about their customers! The suck..

  6. What the hell is wrong with this company?! Why does my power go off nearly EVERY-SINGLE-DAY in the summer?! And my bill is always extremely CRAZY because they add in fees that they can’t explain to me over the phone. I must have gotten lucky and gotten the “brightest” rep they had, because she couldn’t explain all the fees on my bill. *sigh* I was thinking about emailing them as well, but they probably won’t respond.

  7. By what authority does Georgia Power company have the right to charge taxes on the various fees? A good class suit could be available if the power company does not have legal authority to charge taxes.

  8. Redefine question: By what authority does Georgia Power company have the right to charge SALES TAX on the compliance fees?

  9. I am very frustrated with Ga. Power and can’t see any justification for all these fees on my bill which was $200.00 dollars this month, the most it has ever been in 10 years with them. Granted it’s hot as Hell and I like it cool when I get off work (which is mostly outside) and I also have $11.00 added for surge protection but come on, that’s still about fifty dollars more than the previous year (but this one did included three extra days on it.) My main thing is that I built the house with thick walls and not many windows, so I’m fairly energy efficient, so why is my bill so much higher than the same time last year? I have a feeling they are just raising their charges or something and I can’t get anyone there to help explain why or how they came up with any of this to me! THEY DO SUCK!!!! We need another provider to keep them in check or a good lawyer to make them answer for this stuff!

  10. Hi Guys,
    I hope you don’t mind me chiming in, as I’m in Atlanta (actually Dunwoody now-see note above on franchise fees!) but I’ve found the following:
    I’ll start with the amount of our July bill: $664.38
    Yep, you read it right.
    Now-in fairness, we live in Dunwoody-5, 4 and a door, these houses are called. And ours (like most) was built around 1979-1980. Energy efficiency? They’d never heard of it back then.
    BUT, this past winter we installed double pane/low-e/argon windows. And this is the highest bill we’ve ever had–I’m talking kWh usage–not just the dollar amount.
    We have 3 furnaces-one is a heat pump. The other two are old and need replacing. We also have a pool. As an aside, don’t ever get a pool–just use your neighbor’s. We never turn our A/C below 78 degrees. Until now–they’re at 80 now that we got the July bill. The heat pump in the basement rarely came on before but now it’s turned all the way off and it’s 75 degrees in our basement.

    The point is that the only change that we made in our usage was that we replaced the windows from single pane 30 year old windows to the best that money can buy!

    Here is what I’ve found so far:
    Included in the “Current Service” on the Georgia Power bill is the “Fuel Cost Recovery.” Mike, that is why yours doesn’t add up. Ours doesn’t either. I had to call, stump the lady that answered the phone, and wait for her to get a supervisor to help me figure it out. She was actually very polite, though.
    Then go to the GP or PSC website and get the Fuel Cost Recovery Schedule. It is over 4 cents per kWh on EVERY kWh that you use! That is in addition to the tiered summer pricing for your power. It’s also misleading and I’m currently emailing back and forth with the PSC commissioner for our district. He said that he’s never had anyone request that the Fuel Cost Recovery be itemized on the bill as a separate line item. Can you believe it!?!?! So please, everyone, contact the commissioner for your area and ask that, at least. That way you can see what all of the charges are on your bill instead of allowing them to hide them.
    Franchise Fee-We went through the same thing-although ours went from a little over 1 percent to around 3 percent. I’m waiting for the City of Dunwoody to tell me how they’re using it. Supposedly it is to help maintain the ROWs. Did that cost suddenly go up just because there’s a new structure of government? I can answer that: NO.
    And regarding paying taxes on the taxes? I agree. Tell me where to sign for a class action suit. I’m in.
    I’ll repost later when I get the standard response from the City.
    Thanks all.

  11. We the people allow the companies to get away with all these fees they have to be a limit on how much crap we the people are willing to put up with.Power companies ,Water Companies,Telephone companies are all a bunch of crooks these extra fees must be stop.

  12. Great! Check out this outage notifiation from GA Power. This is the best they can do for a blown transformer on a power line pole????????? Two DAYS!!!!!!!!!!

    Estimated Time of Restoration: 12:00AM EST on 04/07/2011
    Type of Account: Electric Service
    Notes: There are currently wide spread outages in your area. We anticipate power will be restored by 12:00AM EST on 04/07/2011. This message will be updated as more specific information becomes available.

  13. Why are we responsible for paying the Municipal Franchise Fee? It says the municipal franchise fee is for A “pass through” charge, meaning Georgia Power Company earns no profit, to collect money owed to cities across the state of Georgia for allowing Georgia Power Company to conduct business within the city limits and on the cities’ rights-of-way. Either way, why should i be paying for Georgia Power to conduct their business. Should it not be a fee that they pay to the city???
    This is just one of the fees that i have questions about. They have a couple others in there that do not make any sense. Glad i am not the only that feels cheated!!!

  14. What other company could get away with charging an “Account Establishment Charge”? I wonder what my new customers would tell me if I sent them a bill for setting up a new account for them. “Hey, would you like to pay me $30 just for the privilege of becoming my customer?”

  15. I just got my bill for $254 – an interior unit townhouse. The irony here is this bill is $40 more than last year at this exact time. The reason for the irony: I paid $300 for 20 R30 batts and $200 for the labor to have them carried up to the attic and properly installed. The house was new in 2003 and has two heat pumps – one for each floor. The R value presently is minimum R40 plus in all area of the attic and R60 in some areas – when I called GA Power to ask how can this be I was told this is a very hot summer. Well, folks, here on St. Simons we had 45 days last year of 95 and above heat! Something is wrong here and the man who installed the twenty batts is as mystified as I am. I was told the bill was based on an actual reading. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Suzanne.

  16. I’ve got an answer for suzanne

    Environmental Compliance cost 21.00
    Nuclear Construction Cost recovery 12.29

    we are paying for their cleanup, and we’re paying in advance for their as yet unstarted nuclear plant
    Thank you PSC for granting this company all these gifts, in addition to a rate increase so they are guaranteed an 11% profit margin(cause you KNOW we must keep the stockholders happy!)

    Altogether excluding sales tax, I’m paying 50.75 a month in fees unrelated to my power consumption. SO my BASE bill is 50.75, then add the cost for the actual kwh used, plus sales tax to come up with my actual bill.

  17. just figured out my kwh cost

    .1475 per kwh(commercial) and this is supposedly lower than residential costs

  18. Couple of notes here:

    I noticed in the last year that the bill comes one week before its due…………why???! Used to have more lead time.
    Why is the residential bill not as detailed as the business bills? I want to see the charges that make up the “Current Service” amount. Hours x fuel and energy costs, each of which are seperate costs.

    Goergia Power, Gulf Power, etc are all power companies under Southern Power….so a small financially struggling company they are not.

  19. Has anyone yet figured out if we can ban together on a class action suit? I am sure most lawyers dont want to take on a power company, but we are being gouged to death here. My power bill makes up 75% of my total expenses. This makes no sense for a 2 bedroom house, $700 in a single month is rediculous! I have compared month-to-month charges and while usage does go up or down to correspond with the bill amount, one has to wonder if they are inflating the reading. It is impossible to verify accuracy because the meter reader comes at different times during the month. I have tried to catch him here so I can get a reading when he does but I have only seen him once and I have been here everyday as I was laid off of my job 6 months ago. I should have seen him at least once, plus I have a small dog in a large pen on that side of the house and he barks EVERYTIME someone steps off of the concrete street, I would have been alerted of his presence. So if tere is currently no class action going on, does anyone know how to anticipate the readers visit? I just know I will catch them in a scheme if I can read the meter myself as he is pulling out of the yard.

  20. This is a HORRIBLE company. This is a monopoly that has to go. No customer service training. No empathy. Just a horrible company all around. Georgia power socked me with 300 dollars because I could not pay my bills on time. Imagine, I am calling and asking for help, the 2011 summer was SO INCREDIBLY HOT, it was impossible for a person making very little money to keep up with the astronomical bills each month. As soon as I had caught up with my payments, they socked me with $300.00 bill in what they call a security hold. I was shocked.
    I spoke to several people at Georgia Power including the supervisors and they basically told me “it is what it is. Deal with it”. The people they have working there are programmed to be EVIL, UNCARING and CALLOUS and this is an overall representation of the company. These are people who I am sure have experienced some level of difficulties sometime in their lives. All that I am sure of is that they will most certainly most certainly reap what they sow.

    I wish I could be there when they experience some serious mess in their lives. VENGEANCE IS MINE, SAID THE LORD, I WILL REPAY. Karma!!.

  21. I totaly agree. Georgia Power SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS!!! I am on disability and struggle to pay my power bill. I live in a 1200 square feet house. And most of the time my power bills are rediculous. I was billed two deposits in less than a year 150.00. And was basically told by customer service representatives to deal with it. I was also given conflicting information by three customer service representatives about the deposit. I have had the the pleasure of doing business with two EMC companies in the past and they were great compared to Georgia Power. What can we as consumers do?

  22. The reason why they get away with it because nothing is ever being done but complain. These companies will do only what we the people allow them to and that means we give them free reign.

    The billing makes absolutely no sense, On different months I use much less Kwh than other but yet those bills with the less usage are significantly higher then those with more. For example 3 months ago I used about 1661 kwh and paid about $150 and then 3 month later I used 1479 Kwh but my bill is $220.

    These companies are crooks especially having to pay all of these additional fees that other businesses categorize as the cost of doing business but they don’t want to pay for it, they just want to earn profits and if they can’t get it then we the people have to pay their profits.

  23. In May my power bill was $180.an I thought that was high. It had ran about about $150 a month for four years. In June they came an changed my meter an my bill went up to $700. for that month. I thought it was a misprint. In July my bill was $600.I called them an said something must be wrong. They were suppose to change my meter but never did. No way did I use this much energy. I have a small house!!!! They refuse to do anything an after the third month I could not afford my bill which is now exceeding $2000. for three months. They have shut my power off an are suing me for the money. I explained that I needed my electric an did not fill like I had used that much but I ask if I could make arrangements, they would not do it. I was then referred to a agency for assistance. I do not need assistance I need them to stop cheating me ,fix my meter. an give me a fair bill. I do not know what I will do but I’m thinking about hiring a lawyer.

  24. i wrote letters to everyone to no avail. i live out in the country and i thought well, i’ll just change companies. thats what we would do in Dallas, tx. we had like 15 different companies to choose from there. come to find out , we are not aloud here. SUCKS!! i thought about not even paying those charges and just paying for what i used, but then i had read it was mandated by legislation (now you tell me those pockets aren’t being filled, but people keep voting them in). anyway, so i turned off their outside lights. now in most places that light on the pole is complimetery. you don’t pay for that. when we first bought here and i say it that way because we didn’t move here for 7 years, that light only cost $5. now its was over $30 with their environmental recovery fees and nuclear construction cost. my neighbors didn’t even know what those fees were until i told them. yous do know that they get to make their profits first right? as a matter of fact that nuclear plant doesn’t even have to run. yet here they are wanting to build another. nice.

  25. They do suck and what about the stray current and dirty electricity that they create. They really don’t give a fuck.

  26. I spoke with Ga Power call center about this nuclear construction cost recovery charge on my bill. I was told that mo one had a choice. We all had to pay. I guess all the little people do.

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