Georgia Power bills to go up average $5 a month

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Power bills will go up about $5 a month for the typical residential customer next month after the Public Service Commission granted a $383 million increase in the amount the utility can charge for fuel to power its generating plants.

Georga Power had asked for a $420 million increase, but a compromise deal was reached late Monday by the company, the PSC staff and a group representing large commercial residential customers.

Large industrial customers and the state consumer affairs office did not agree to the settlement, which cuts $40 million from the amount Georgia Power sought to collect for future costs for coal, natural gas and nuclear fuel. It also cut $4 million from the amount the company sought to recover for already accrued costs, which are collected over an extended period of time.

The PSC staff originally recommended that the company be docked $3.5 million for higher fuel costs incurred because of outages at one of the company's nuclear plants.

The typical residential bill now is $89 per month, averaged over a year's time.