The Georgia Public Service Commission gave Georgia Power the “ok” to increase monthly electric bills starting next month.

Customers will see an increase to their bills over the next three years.

Residential customers are expected to see their average rate go up more than $175 a year once the rates and fees are phased in.

Next year customers are expected to see a yearly increase of about $71 yearly.

The first year rates will increase between 4 and 4.5%,  the second year an additional 2 to 2.5% and the third year 4.5 to 5%.

Georgia Power said that the increase is needed to help with growing expenses, storm repairs and dealing with its leftover ash ponds and coal plants around the state.