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As Georgia Power asks for a 12 percent rate hike, it's likely only the first of several requests

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Georgia Power's Aaron Abramovitz (center) speaks to state regulators at a Public Service Commission hearing on September 27.

The nearly 12 percent rate increase that Georgia Power is now arguing before the Public Service Commission is only one of four rate increases the utility is expected to request over the next three years, according to a staff lawyer for the PSC.

Preston Thomas said during the hearing Tuesday that if the commission ultimately approves all four requests, the average residential customer bill could grow by $55 to $60 a month. The utility says the increase is needed to pay for the disposal of coal ash, and to strengthen the utility’s electric grid, add more renewable energy and improve customer service.

The PSC is scheduled to vote on the initial increase in December.

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