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Georgia Public Benefit Funds for Rate Assistance

Georgia Public Benefit Funds for Rate Assistance

  • A Universal Service Fund (USF) was established by the original gas deregulation law and funded through surcharges on large industrial users. Initially designed to benefit the gas industry, the law was amended in 2001 and energy assistance is now the primary recipient of the fund. Since December 2001, in response to gas price increases and severe weather, the Georgia Public Service Commission has disbursed about $59 million in USF funds, usually at least once per year, through the LIHEAP grantee, the Department of Human Resources, with a portion aimed at low-income seniors and the remainder for other LIHEAP households. In 2010, $500,000 was provided as crisis assistance to gas customers.
    See utility restructuring legislation.

  • In 1987, the PSC mandated that major gas and electric utilities waive their monthly service charge for customers age 65 or over earning less than $10,000 per year. Since then, the PSC has made several increases to the income limit and the amount of the service charge waiver. Currently seniors making less than $14,355 receive a waiver of $14 per month. Other utilities have smaller discounts. At least 55,000 seniors receive the electric discount yearly, and about 35,000 receive the gas discount, amounting to about $15 million yearly.  Around 62,000 seniors receive the electric discount yearly, and about 36,000 receive the gas discount, amounting to about $16.4 million annually.

Note: Leveraging reports do not always give a complete statewide picture. Some resources are not reported through leveraging or are under reported.

LEVERAGING

2009: $3.6 million
2006: $5.6 million
2005: $5.6 million
2004: $6.1 million
2003: $3.2 million
2002: $5.3 million