Thursday November 26th, 2015 5:39AM

Agreement would lower earnings target for Ga Power

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) Georgia Power would accept a lower return on shareholder investments and ditch a proposal to charge special rates for rooftop solar power under a preliminary agreement reached Monday.

The Southern Co. subsidiary reached a tentative deal with Georgia utility regulators to set its rates through 2016. It would reduce the value of the rate increases sought by the utility by more than $500 million over a three-year period, according to regulatory filings. The agreement must still be approved by the elected members of the Public Service Commission, though they typically ratify such deals.

Utility shareholders who invest money in the electrical grid would get a lower return on their investments. The return would drop to 10.95 percent from the current 11.15 percent. Georgia Power originally wanted an 11.5 percent return on its shareholder investments.

"The terms reached do give us the flexibility to manage our business by taking care of customers and meeting shareholder expectations," said John Kraft, a spokesman for Georgia Power.

Georgia Power also agreed to drop new fees it had proposed charging customers who use solar energy systems on their homes and businesses. Utility officials had said that solar power customers were not paying for their fair share of the costs of running the electrical grid even though solar customers still need power from the utility.

Georgia Power originally wanted solar customers who install new systems starting new year to pay a special fee or buy power at rates that the utility said better recoups it costs.

Under the plan, utility officials say they may seek to revisit the solar charges at a later time.

"This is a real victory for individuals and businesses that want to use technology to regain some control over their energy bills," said Jason Rooks, a lobbyist for the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association, which opposed the new charges.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Gainesville to lease vacant Community Service Center space to foster family advocacy group
Should the Gainesville City Council give their approval to a lease agreement at a voting session Tuesday evening, SAFFT will occupy vacant space at the Gainesville Community Service Center on Prior Street, and the sooner the better according to SAFFT’s Executive Director Ashley Anderson.
5:00AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 8 hours ago )
The big getaway: Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and pack airports, despite terror fears
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fear...
7:10PM ( 10 hours ago )
Traffic slowed Wed. afternoon by overturned dump truck on Candler Hwy.
Traffic was slowed on Candler Highway in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon because of an overturned dump truck near Cottrell Trailers.
3:39PM ( 14 hours ago )
Gainesville officials say 2,600 gallons of sludge accidentally pumped into Flat Creek
City officials said an estimated 2,600 gallons of sludge was accidentally pumped into Flat Creek Tuesday evening.
2:31PM ( 15 hours ago )