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Consumer advocates cry foul over Georgia Power's "Smart Usage" plan


Consumer advocates and staff for state regulators are raising alarms about a practice that Georgia Power uses with new customers.

That practice, the "Smart Usage rate plan," automatically places those customers into a complicated plan that critics say is confusing and often drives up bills, even for households that use less energy.

The utility company says its rate plan is designed to offer consumers an incentive, charging higher energy rates at peak periods and lower than usual rates at off-peak times. But, as the AJC reports, witnesses for the PSC’s Public Interest Advocacy staff say their analysis shows that the average Smart Usage customer pays approximately $200 more per year than they would on a traditional rate plan.

Complaints over Smart Usage come as Georgia Power wants to expand the program to more customers, including some that install rooftop solar.

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