Georgia Power Customers in Newly-Constructed Homes Will Soon Default to "Smart Usage" Rate Plan

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

A Georgia Power rate plan that caters to energy customers who monitor their usage will become the default rate for newly-constructed homes beginning January 1. This is the first time new sign-ups for Georgia Power will default to any rate other than the standard residential rate.

All Georgia homes built after January 1, 2021 will default to the “Smart Usage” plan when residents activate new accounts with Georgia Power. New-home customers can, however, opt out of the Smart Usage plan and choose any other eligible plan when they sign up for power. At the request of the Georgia Public Service Commission, Georgia Power will discuss the new-construction default with the state’s home building industry. Georgia Power is likewise launching an education campaign for consumers.

Any customers who start the Smart Usage plan will be locked in for 12 months before they can change plans.

Smart Usage was introduced in 2014 as an optional rate plan for any Georgia Power residential customer who signs up. Under the plan, power customers who spend a little extra time figuring out how and when they use the most electricity can save money on their bills.

The Smart Usage payment plan charges less money per kilowatt hour for power used at off-peak times and charges a lower fee for customers who manage how much electricity they use at any one time.

Peak times for electricity are 2 - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, June through September, with the exception of holidays. Customers under the Smart Usage plan will pay more per kilowatt hour for electricity used in this time period. They will pay less for energy used at other times.

Likewise, customers on this plan can save money by managing their demand level. This relates to how much energy is being used at the highest point of their consumption in any given month. Under the Smart Usage plan, customers would pay more on their bills if they dry clothes, run the dish washer and bake cookies in the oven at the same time. Customers on this plan would have a lower bill if they wait for the clothes dryer to end its cycle before starting the dishwasher and waiting until other appliances are off before heating up the oven for those cookies.

Smart Usage customers pay Georgia Power’s standard basic service charge, then pay varying time-of-use rates for peak and non-peak power. They will also pay an additional charge based on how much energy they are using at the hour of their peak demand in any month.

"Smart customers need to make sure they are on the rate plan that will save them the most money and energy," said PSC Vice Chairman Tim Echols. "That means calling Georgia Power or consulting with an energy professional to evaluate the best plan available."

To compare the standard rate with the Smart Usage rate, follow these links:

Standard Rate Sheet:

Smart Usage Rate Sheet:

Georgia Power officials said the Smart Usage plan can help customers save money and can reduce stress on the energy grid. Although conscientious Smart Usage customers can save money, Georgia Power officials said Smart Usage customers who do not manage their usage can end up paying higher rates than standard-rate customers.

For information on all of Georgia Power rate plans, follow this link: