Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton says you should be noticing something in your Georgia Power bill in the next few months, i.e. it should be a bit lower.
Eaton was in Savannah Wednesday to talk with local groups, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) about what he says are now job opportunities for some in the Coastal Empire because of the continuation of the Plant Vogtle project.
The PSC voted recently to continue the controversial project to build two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, despite the fact the project is now billions over-budget and about five years behind schedule. But he says now that it’s “full steam ahead” in terms of forging ahead on the construction, that things are going well on site and that more workers are needed.
“Electricians, they’re moving rapidly into the electrician side of it we and still need welders, pipe fitters and other sorts of tradespeople,” said Eaton. “Crane operators are also needed. There are 3,000 people there now and I believe they’re looking to hire two or three thousand more.”
Eaton believes that ultimately the reactors will not only be built but will serve as an important part of the energy supply for the next six decades.
He also says that now that a settlement with Toshiba (the parent company of bankrupt Westinghouse) has been made, that millions have gone gone to pay down the interest debt on the project and that customers will receive up to $75 in refunds this year.
In addition, he says monthly nuclear fees are not increasing. Georgia Power has also been ordered to return millions to customers because of a higher return on (overall) profits and the new tax bill is generating millions in savings for the company, some of which is also being returned to customers.
“Overall, it’s a half a billion dollars over the next three years but people tend to want to know how it affects their bill directly,” said Eaton. “When you add all of that together the average customer should see about $136 in benefits this year.