SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – This week the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) held the last of three public hearings to consider a rate hike proposal that might increase the electric bills of most average customers by about $200 by the year 2022.

At the same time, two people announced the formation of the “Georgia Public Service Commission Accountability Project.”

“We are trying to shine the light on a commission that kind of flies under the radar,” said William Perry. “For a lot of Georgia citizens, it’s a very important group, it’s a group of five pubic officials who decide how much citizens pay for utilities.”

The rate hike request from Georgia Power would increase the base rate (which all customers pay for basic service) as part of the overall increase. Some groups, especially those that represent senior citizens, say that may be too expensive for some on fixed incomes.

The utility says the increase is needed to replenish a depleted storm restoration fund (because of three hurricanes in two years) along with updating equipment and systems. There are also issues with coal ash storage and disposal in future years.

Brionte McCorkle is also helping to form the Georgia Public Service Accountability Project.

“What Georgia Power is doing hurts customers, punishes conservation, and only helps Georgia Power’s shareholders,” said McCorkle. “The PSC was created to make sure the company doesn’t take advantage of us ratepayers. They are the best option we have to keep Georgia Power accountable.”

Georgia Power officials have told us in recent months that there has not been a request for a rate hike in three years and that the utility still has some of the lower rates in the country.

McCorkle and Perry still vow to provide more scrutiny for the PSC which will decide how much customers pay. Meanwhile, they have a website designed to tell consumers about the rate hike proposal.