Consumer advocacy group Georgia Watch released a report Wednesday asserting that a proposed coal-fired plant in Washington County near Sandersville would create a substantial financial burden on consumers, raising the average households bill by $208 a year.
If Plant Washington is built, rate increases will no longer be modest. The plant will also cause long-term financial headaches for the electric membership cooperatives and others who sign on to purchase power from Plant Washington, writes Tom Sanzillo in the report titled Power4Georgians Plant Washington Coal-Fired Power Plant: Too High a Price for Consumers.
According to the report, residential consumers can expect to see increases in their electricity bills of 10 to 20 percent.
Among the reasons driving the plants high cost are increasing construction costs, rising regulatory costs, volatile coal prices and cheaper, more readily available competitive energy sources.
Dean Alford, spokesman for Power4Georgians, the consortium of electric cooperatives building the $2.1 billion plant, said the report is full of flaws and inaccuracies stemming from assumptions on future costs and future need.
To the reports claim of electric bill increases, he said the co-op hopes to maintain stability in the rates.
He said if evidence suggests there is no justification for the 850-megawatt plant, no one would lend the consortium billions of dollars and the plant would not be built.
To contact writer Caryn Grant, call 744-4347.