Hike rates

Southern (SO) plans to raise fares and invest in infrastructure

Georgia Power — one unit of The Southern Company SO — is asking customers to pay nearly 12% more over the next three years on their electricity bills to help fund the cost of upgrades to its transmission and distribution network. A proposal submitted Friday by the electric utility to the Georgia Public Service Commission aims to increase revenue by nearly $7 billion during the period. In addition to fortifying its power grid, a portion of the increase (about $2.2 billion) would support Georgia Power’s ongoing efforts to improve long-term efficiency.

Although the impact of a rate increase varies by customer category, for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, the increase would add an average of $14.32 to their monthly bill in 2023, 1 $.35 in 2024 and 62 cents in 2025 – for a total of $16.29 per month. The utility says it has pumped in some $10 billion over the past decade to boost its network. The new tariffs, which have been questioned by a Georgian consumer organization due to already stretched household budgets, are due to come into force early next year.

Founded in 1945, Atlanta, Georgia-based Southern Company is one of the largest utilities in the United States. Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) is involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Following its merger with AGL Resources on July 1, 2016, Southern Company serves approximately nine million customers through its seven electricity and natural gas distribution units.

The company has 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, approximately 200,000 miles of power transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipelines.

3 utility stocks to buy

Investors interested in Utilities space could watch American Electric Power EPA, Eversource Energy ES and Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. HE, both carrying a Zacks rank of 2 (purchase), currently.

You can see the full list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Electric Power is valued at some $48.1 billion. AEP, headquartered in Columbus, OH, forecasts a 5.3% earnings growth rate for 2022.

American Electric Power has a four-quarter earnings surprise of around 2.4% on average. AEP stock has gained about 11.9% in one year.

Eversource Energy is valued at some $28.8 billion. ES forecasts a profit growth rate of 6.5% for 2022.

Eversource Energy has a four-quarter earnings surprise of around 0.1% on average. ES stocks have gained about 3.2% in one year.

Hawaiian Electrical Industries is valued at around $4.4 billion. The Zacks consensus estimate for HE revenue in 2022 has been revised up 1.4% over the past 60 days.

Hawaiian Electric Industries, headquartered in Honolulu, has a four-quarter earnings surprise of about 30.8% on average. HE stocks have lost around 3.9% in one year.

5 shares ready to double

Each has been handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have skyrocketed +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%.

Most of the stocks in this report fly under the radar on Wall Street, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Today, check out these 5 potential home runs >>

Click to get this free report

Southern Company The (SO): Free Stock Analysis Report

American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP): Free Inventory Analysis Report

Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HE): Free Inventory Analysis Report

Eversource Energy (ES): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com, click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.