State regulators have approved rate increases for three electric companies that serve the state, including Florida Power & Light Co.
With approval of the Florida Public Service Commission, FPL will increase rates in its northwest territories by 8.3% and in the peninsula by 10.3% starting in April. The utility serves portions of Baker, Clay, Nassau, Putnam and St. johns counties in Northeast Florida.
Residential customers in most areas served by FPL — outside northwest Florida — currently pay $129.59 a month for 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Although rates will increase, lower-than-expected natural gas prices could soften the blow. Utilities add a surcharge to bills to cover the cost of fuel used to power electric plants. So while customers will still pay more each month, it won’t be as much as first expected.
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The PSC also approved rates hikes for Tampa Electric, or TECO, and Duke Energy Florida.
Tampa Electric customers can expect their energy bills to increase by 9.8% starting in April. By then, the average customer’s bill will have risen 62% from 2019 — from $99.53 to $161.13.
The commission approved an increase of 15.1% spread over 21 months for Duke Energy Florida. Due to that longer time frame, the actual monthly increase visible on energy bills will be 3.8%.
“Florida’s stubborn reliance on fossil fuels is gouging residents and businesses, as Floridians pay through the nose to keep our corporate utilities profitable at any cost,” Brooke Ward, senior Florida organizer for Food & Water Watch, said in a news release. “As our energy bills rise, so too does the sea level and our climate emissions. We need less fracked gas not more — Floridians can’t keep footing the bill for more costly fossil fuel infrastructure.
Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.