A regional energy watchdog group is hosting a rally in downtown Atlanta Sept. 30 to protest Georgia Power’s proposed 7% rate hike.

The Partnership for Southern Equity, an Atlanta-based nonpartisan, nonprofit energy watchdog organization, is hosting the rally outside the Public Service Commission’s office at 4:30 p.m., and is inviting the public to participate.

In June Georgia Power announced plans to increase its rates by 7%, citing costs associated with infrastructure investments, storm recovery and environmental cleanup and regulations as the reason. The rate hike would mean bills would go up an estimated $9.78 per month, and it would total about $2.2 billion over three years.

The last time Georgia Power raised its rates was in 2013, when it requested a $1.4 billion jump and regulators approved $870 million. Three years earlier, the company asked for a $2.4 billion increase and got $1.5 billion.

The commission’s decision on the latest rate increase proposal is expected in December. The rally is timed to coincide with the first of several hearings the commission has with Georgia Power on the issue.

The Partnership for Southern Equity is partnering on the rally with the Sierra Club’s Georgia chapter, the Georgia Beyond Coal Campaign, Sankofa Church, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the SisterCARE Alliance, Georgia Conservation Voters, the Shrine of the Black Madonna Pan African Christian Church, Mount Welcome Missionary Baptist Church, Georgia WAND, the Georgia Community Coalition and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

The commission’s office is located at 244 Washington St. SW in Atlanta.

For more information on the rate increase, visit https://bit.ly/2mjJpfL or https://bit.ly/2mjaEXN.

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