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Since 2003, GIPL has inspired people of faith to care about energy choices being made on our behalf here in Georgia. As engaged citizens, we commit to learning more about how energy is generated and becoming more aware about how we use energy as customers. Georgia’s energy issues are a matter of both justice and stewardship, whether we are generating energy from coal, natural gas, nuclear or renewable sources.
Currently five years behind schedule and more than $6 billion over budget, Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are the only nuclear units still under construction in the United States.
While Georgia Power continues to profit off of project delays, its customers—both residential and commercial, including churches, temples, mosques, schools, hospitals and other community organizations—will be forced to pay for this delayed project with higher electric bills for decades as a result.
Georgians, especially individuals and families struggling to stay on top of their monthly bills, should not be forced to bear this enormous financial burden, especially for a project that is years away from generating electricity. The average household has already paid over $500 in extra fees on its electric bill towards this failed project, and no one has yet received any electricity generated from this power plant.
In 2017, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved the revised cost and schedule, continuing to allow Georgia Power to escape responsibility for problems of its own making and passing along the risk to Georgia citizens and utility customers. GIPL believes there are viable alternatives to the problem of Plant Vogtle, though.
Cleaner, Cheaper Alternatives:
Since the project was approved in 2009, Georgia’s energy picture has changed dramatically and electricity demand has not grown as originally projected. In the meantime, over a gigawatt of solar power has been added to Georgia’s grid.
Georgia’s reduced energy demands can more cheaply and responsibly be met through additional solar investments and greater efficiency measures, providing significant bill savings for utility customers.
The prudent way forward is to cancel, or pause, this risky project—and to invest in energy saving programs and local solar power that will lower bills for all Georgians.
GIPL advocates for investments in energy efficiencies for all customers, especially for low- to middle-income residents. Additionally, we demand that Georgia Power increase its commitment to providing clean, affordable renewable energy for its customers (currently less than 2% of their energy portfolio). Investments such as these are more affordable and safer for all Georgians.
We hope the following resources will help to educate others in the faith community about the moral implications of throwing billions of Georgians’ hard earned dollars on this wasteful project, and to inform ongoing discussions with your congregation, community leaders, and state legislators about a better energy future for Georgia.