Georgia Power customers can expect to see their monthly residential electricity bills fall by an average of about $2.70, starting in April.
The utility company said in a news release this week that customers will be paying $139 million less toward the expansion of the multi-billion dollar Plant Vogtle nuclear project in east Georgia this year. Georgia Power says the lower bills are due to the savings the company is expecting from recent changes in the federal tax code.
The reactor project, which has been the subject of multiple delays and cost overruns, is the first new nuclear plant to be licensed and to begin construction in the U.S. in more than 30 years. The company estimates that the two new reactors will be completed by 2022.
Cheap electricity and a reliable grid are what companies looking to relocate need to find. The Georgia PSC froze the base rates for electricity in 2013, and they will not go up until 2019. Those Vogtle reactors (Unit 1 & 2) built in the 1980s now provide the cheapest power in the state. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median nuclear plant operator earns an average annual wage of $91,170, so the 800 permanent jobs created by the new Vogtle Expansion Project will go a long way to boost the Georgia economy. Subtract the 6,000 temporary construction jobs that are working on-site for the Vogtle Expansion Project (Units 3&4) and it would be like pulling $115 million in annual payroll from the regional economy.