PSC Says Budget Cuts Hurt Georgia; Funding of the Public Service Commission Aids in Challenging Utilities' Requests to Raise Rates

By Eckenrode, Vicky | The Florida Times Union, May 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

PSC Says Budget Cuts Hurt Georgia; Funding of the Public Service Commission Aids in Challenging Utilities' Requests to Raise Rates


Eckenrode, Vicky, The Florida Times Union


Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE

ATLANTA -- Although the Georgia Public Service Commission is charged with representing the interests of millions of Georgians by challenging utilities to justify requests for rate increases, the agency says it now has less money than ever to do the job.

This week, the commission will be deciding whether both Savannah Electric and Georgia Power will be able to increase customers' bills.

Their decision comes after months of work examining the companies' financial information and hearing arguments from the utilities and paid experts in regulatory fields.

Though the final word comes from the five commissioners who sit on the board, their decisions are influenced by research from staff workers and paid consultants, which have been seeing significant budget cuts from the state in recent years.

Meanwhile, the large utility companies have vast resources to pay for lawyers and consultants to support their proposals.

"If you don't have the money to hire those top-notch consultants, we are at a disadvantage to the utilities," said PSC spokesman Bill Edge, who spent time during the past legislative session lobbying the General Assembly for more agency funds.

The funding the PSC uses to hire expert consultants during rate cases dropped to $368,000 in the 2006 fiscal year state budget Gov. Sonny Perdue signed last week. That marks a nearly 65 percent cut from the $1,048,000 the PSC had in 2002 to hire outside witnesses.

The agency's overall budget of about $8 million has been dropping slightly in recent years, though it was able to secure $175,000 from the upcoming budget to move the offices of some workers who were originally scheduled to relocate several years ago.

"There was no additional money put in for additional per diem and fees [to pay consultants]," Edge said.

This fiscal year, as the PSC's staff argued against two separate increases for both Georgia Power and Savannah Electric as well as a filing from Atlanta Gas Light for natural gas customers, the agency had to move $186,000 from its consultant fund to cover a sudden shortfall in payroll.

All state agencies faced a similar dilemma when Perdue announced he was not going to shift the final paycheck of the year into the next budget, and departments had to pay for them from their existing budgets.

Despite the drop in funding, the PSC is still charged with representing consumer interests of safe, reliable and "reasonably priced" utility services. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

PSC Says Budget Cuts Hurt Georgia; Funding of the Public Service Commission Aids in Challenging Utilities' Requests to Raise Rates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.