ATLANTA – The number of Georgia Power customers who have had their service disconnected for nonpayment is rising steadily since the state Public Service Commission (PSC) lifted a pandemic-driven temporary moratorium on disconnections in July.
In a document filed with the PSC this week, Georgia Power reported pulling the plug on 26,504 customers last month, up from 24,929 in August and 15,223 in July.
The company also reported that in September, 364 customers failed to comply with a pay-by-installment plan Georgia Power has been offering ratepayers. That represented a significant increase from the 40 failed installment plans the previous month, while only one installment plan failed in July.
Service disconnection was among the issues that came up earlier this week when two Republican members of the PSC seeking reelection debated their Democratic challengers.
Democrat Robert Bryant of Savannah, who is opposing GOP incumbent Commissioner Jason Shaw, criticized the PSC for lifting the moratorium while the pandemic was still raging.
Shaw pointed out that it was he who made the motion in March that led the commission to impose the temporary moratorium.
“We have the tough balance of protecting those who are most vulnerable but protecting all ratepayers,” he said. “When we lifted the moratorium in July, we put in delayed payment plans.”
Under Georgia Power’s delayed-payment plan, customers who sign up for the program will be able to pay past-due balances through March with no late fees.