ATLANTA – Georgia Power has significantly reduced its request to recover higher fuel costs from customers.

In a filing with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) dated Monday, Georgia Power is seeking to recover about $6.6 billion, down more than $1 billion from the request the company submitted to the PSC in February.

As a result, the hit on the average residential bill – for customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month – is down from $23 to $15.90.

The utility’s request is based on the actual unrecovered fuel cost balance through March 31 and projected fuel costs through the end of next month using a more recent natural gas price forecast.

Georgia Power officials cite the same increases in energy prices that have hit motorists at the pump for the need to recover higher fuel costs from customers.

The proposed fuel cost recovery is one of three sources of higher bills for Georgia Power customers. The PSC approved a $1.8 billion increase in base rates for Georgia Power late last year, which raised the average residential customer’s monthly bill by $3.60 starting in January.

Customers also will be expected to pay for bringing into service the first of two new nuclear reactors being built at Plant Vogtle south of Augusta. The reactor is scheduled to begin commercial operation by June.

The commission will hold hearings on Georgia Power’s fuel cost recovery request early next month and is scheduled to vote on the proposal May 16.