Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act
The 1973 Georgia Territorial Electric Service Act established retail competition among electricity suppliers in Georgia. The act gives customers with connected loads of 900 kilowatts or greater a choice of electricity supplier.
The act assigns exclusive power supply areas throughout the state. The state's 42 electric membership cooperatives are assigned 71% of the state's land area, with the remaining area designated to Georgia Power Company or municipal power systems.
Exceptions to the Act
There are exceptions to these assigned areas that give some new customers the choice of their power suppliers. These are
- Connected loads of 900 Kilowatts (KW) or greater, at the time of initial full operation, excluding redundant equipment, located outside municipal limits, may be supplied by any supplier
- In areas annexed to a municipality after March 29, 1973, loads of 900 KW or greater may be served by any electric supplier owning lines in the municipality
- In a new municipality, loads of 900KW or greater are customer choice
- One supplier's service line (fewer than 120,000 volts) crossing another supplier's assigned area creates "corridor rights."
- Customers within the corridor may be able to choose the supplier whose service line their facilities are near. Corridors are established at 300 feet from the line to the customer's premises inside city limits, and 500 feet outside city limits.
- Other cases exist that require determination by the electric suppliers. For example, lines built for the sole purpose of servicing large loads may or may not have corridor rights associated with them.
Integrated Transmission System
This competition is made possible in part because Georgia's major power suppliers jointly own the state's transmission lines and substation facilities. The integrated transmission system is a joint service agreement with Georgia Transmission Corporation, which provides transmission and associated services to Georgia's electric membership corporations (EMCs): Georgia Power Company, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. This agreement was designed to reduce the cost of electricity for Georgia consumers by avoiding duplication of facilities and through joint planning to enhance electric service reliability
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