A process is about to begin that will shape Georgia’s energy future and, in turn, impact how much millions of Georgians pay on their monthly electricity bill.  Southface Institute is partnering with Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) to host a series of trainings on the 2025 Georgia Power Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and 2025 rate case. Southface partnered with advocate organizations such as Vote Solar and Partnership for Southern Equity to offer similar education workshops during the 2019 and 2022 regulatory cycles. This iteration of the workshops for the 2025 cycle will continue the collaboration between advocate groups and community members invested in promoting clean and affordable energy in Georgia.

The 2025 training sessions, like previous trainings, will offer a space for newcomers and seasoned advocates alike to sharpen their understanding of and engagement in the regulatory process with a focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy equity. The training sessions will offer an in-depth discussion on the IRP and rate case processes, the role of the Public Service Commission, and the advocacy opportunities in the proceedings.

What is the Georgia Public Service Commission’s relation to the IRP process?

The Georgia Public Service Commission is a group of five, state-wide elected officials that regulate investor-owned electricity, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities. Every three years, the commissioners preside over the IRP, in which Georgia Power presents a twenty-year forecast with their plans for energy generation, distribution, transmission, and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives.

Energy advocates, community members, industry representatives, and government agencies can intervene in the IRP process to influence the Commission to support or amend Georgia Power’s plan. The IRP is then followed by a rate case, in which the Commissioners determine “fair and reasonable” energy rates for Georgia Power’s residential, and commercial customers. The training sessions will provide community partners, advocates, and other stakeholders with an understanding of the utility’s earnings and expenses and bill and rate structures.

What do we want to see included in the 2025 IRP?

In previous cycles of the IRP, Southface and other energy advocate organizations pushed for increased renewable energy procurement and use, increased reliance on energy efficiency, and collaborative transmission planning. Southface argued to reinstate Georgia Power’s net metering program for customers with solar panels to receive payment for excess energy sent back to the grid.

The 2025 IRP cycle presents unique opportunities. With more than $2 Billion allocated to Georgia for climate and energy funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and Investment, Infrastructure, and Job Act, there is an incredible opportunity to increase energy efficiency and lower energy burdens across the state. The trainings will highlight the ways that federal resources allocated to Georgia for climate and energy funding can be leveraged in this IRP to enhance the energy system. The first workshop will be held in September 2024. For more information, updates and to get involved in the workshops, please contact the Advocacy Team at advocacy@southface.org.

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