As Georgians Struggle to Pay Soaring Energy Prices, Kemp Turns a Blind Eye to Corporate Greed & Offers No Solutions

ATLANTA, Ga. – Last night, during the only debate in the race for governor of Georgia, Governor Kemp failed to offer any meaningful solutions to an issue at the forefront of voters’ concerns: rising energy prices. In fact, he didn’t even mention this crisis, revealing just how out of touch he is with his constituents. While Kemp seemed to fish for praise by repeatedly bringing up his suspension of the gas tax, he failed to mention that this temporary political move will not address the underlying causes of rapidly rising energy prices, chief among them: corporate greed and the inherent volatility of fossil fuel markets. In fact, Kemp made no attempt to provide details on how he would save Georgia families money if given a second term. 

Georgians are already feeling the strain of increasing energy costs and now they are bracing for yet another hike as Georgia Power puts shareholder value ahead of consumer well-being. Georgia Power seeks to increase household utility bills by 11.4% over the next three years, straining Black, Brown, and low-income communities who already face a high household energy burden. All five members of the Georgia Public Service Commission, which is tasked with oversight, endorse Kemp in his reelection bid, showing their allegiance to him trumps their willingness to combat price-gouging and protect consumers.

A new federal report predicts home heating prices to reach new highs this winter, with electricity expected to rise 10% and heating oil and gas facing 27% and 28% increases, respectively. Yet, Kemp, who has taken at least $450,825 from the oil and gas industry during his career total, has been largely silent on this issue.

  • Georgia Power’s proposed rate hike would result in about $2.8 billion in new revenue over the next three years by increasing the average customer’s monthly residential bills by $14.32 a month
  • Although Georgia Power claims the rate hike is necessary to meet their long-term generation plans, including investment in solar and natural gas, the proposal  includes a request to raise the return on equity investments from 10.5% to 11%, a change that would solely benefit wealthy Southern Co. shareholders. Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Co.

In addition to offering no relief, Kemp has been an outspoken critic of the Inflation Reduction, which will offer much-needed cost savings for Georgia families by incentivizing and expanding affordable clean energy and much more:

  • This historic legislation will lower energy costs for Georgians by providing tax credits and rebates on energy efficiency and weatherization updates.
    • In Georgia, millions of low- and moderate-income households are eligible for rebates covering 50-100% of the cost of installing new electric appliances, including super-efficient heat pumps, water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, and ovens. 
    • Georgians, regardless of income, will also be able to take advantage of tax credits covering 30% of the costs to install solar panels and battery storage systems, make home improvements that reduce energy leakage, or upgrade heating and cooling equipment. 
    • The average new homeowner in Georgia will save 15.1% on their utility bills ($327 annually) thanks to grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes.
  • These investments in clean energy will also create thousands of good-paying jobs across the state, adding to an already booming sector.
    • The Inflation Reduction Act will expand clean energy opportunities in Georgia, bringing an estimated $180 million of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Georgia between now and 2030. In 2021, Georgia was already home to 75,211 clean energy jobs.
      • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 21,912 jobs in Georgia per year over a five year period.
    • Georgia is among the top 10 states in terms of potential jobs that could be created through investments in grid modernization and energy efficiency. The hypothetical investments in that report were even smaller than those in the Inflation Reduction Act.