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Utility merger clears one of many steps on path to approval

For Georgia customers of power companies, cost of services is often a primary concern. This concern is shared by residential consumers and business customers alike. Many things play into the eventual cost of gas or electricity, including the raw cost of the fuel or energy source. Sometimes, it is business efficiencies that can help to bring costs down. In other cases, different providers may be a factor in consumer pricing.

Power customers in Georgia may be in for a change of provider if an in-process merger deal is ultimately approved. The effort is currently underway and has recently been approved by one of the bodies such approval was required from. Via a unanimous vote, the Georgia Public Services Commission gave the green light to an $8 billion buyout of the gas company, AGL Resources, by Southern Co. The approval from the GPSC, however, does not mean that the merger is confirmed to proceed. There are other entities that still need to review and approve the deal before it can be implemented.

If the merger is approved, customers are reported to be able to expect no rate increases until July 2019. There is also a proposed phased approach as to how cost reductions or savings are handled. For three years, the company will enjoy these savings and then start passing them on to the customers first in a 60-percent increment and then in total. If approved, the merger would create one of the biggest power entities in the country.

Georgia businesses and entreprenuers looking for new opportunities, including via mergers or acquisitions, may wish to consult with an attorney before proceeding. Especially when regulatory approval and oversight is involved, professional legal help can make a big difference.

Source: AJC.com, “Southern-AGL utilities merger gets thumbs up from Georgia regulators,” Russell Grantham, April 14, 2016

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