ATLANTA – Every three years, Georgia Power Co. presents its case for deciding power rates for residents, large commercial businesses and other businesses, including restaurants. During the first week of November, the PSC heard testimonies from various groups, private citizens and government entities on how an increase would affect them. On Tuesday, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted proposed power rates.
“This is the first time that the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) has engaged a Georgia Power electricity rate case, and it went much better than expected,” said GRA CEO Karen Bremer, who also noted that most industry groups wait years to get relief in the regulatory process.
Independent restaurateurs will now have access to favorable electricity rates that were previously only available to large chains. 6,000 users have been approved for the new rate (the total includes 3,000 current users). Rates are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. Bremer explains, “This is a huge win for the entire industry. From now on, two side-by-side restaurants, one an independent and one a chain, will have access to the same electricity rates.”
Bremer commended Chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and the Public Service Commissioners for considering the GRA’s cause. “All of the commissioners have been very accessible, and we greatly appreciate their support. Chairman McDonald led the charge and created equal treatment between the independents and chains, which is good for the entire industry.”
Restaurants will also benefit from the PSC’s move towards creating equal treatment of all rate payers by limiting restaurant increases to eighty-five percent of the overall increase. “Electrical bills are one the largest cost centers for restaurants. This move will save our members real dollars,” said Bremer. “Between the reduction in the overall increase and access to the lower rates by independents, restaurants will save millions of dollars.”
Once the new rules are implemented, the GRA will embark on an education program to expand access to the lower rate.
About the Georgia Restaurant Association
The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 18,400 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $23 billion which provides more than 488,000 jobs.