Florida utility company proposes rate increase of up to 37 percent on electric bills

Beth Torres

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In a recent press release, Duke Energy Florida announced they are seeking rate hikes that could send some customer monthly bills soaring by 37 percent. The utility company has requested the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approve their proposal to increase the amount it charges customers for fuel and capacity rates.

Should the FPSC approve the rate changes, Duke Energy utility customers will begin seeing the increased charges starting with their April 2023 bill. The company anticipates that the typical residential customer’s electric bill will go up by about 20 percent.

The biggest financial impact will likely be felt by commercial and industrial customers. These bills could go up anywhere from 19 percent to 37 percent.

Why is Duke Energy Florida asking for these rate hikes?

The company cites costs related to recent hurricanes as one reason for the need to increase rates. Duke is looking to recoup the costs it incurred related to storm restoration work from hurricanes that pummeled the state in 2022.

The company wants to increase customer rates to cover the $442.1 million it spent to restore power safely and quickly. This includes the cost to repair damaged infrastructure. The company also wants money to establish a “storm reserve” fund to pay for future storm costs.

Additionally, Duke Energy says they need to increase customer rates because they undercharged customers in 2022 by $795 million. According to the company’s news release:

“The $795 million net fuel recovery includes the company’s actual 2022 under-recovery of approximately $1.18 billion, less an approximate $385 million decrease in 2023 costs, primarily due to lower projected natural gas prices. The 2022 under-recovery is a result of actual costs in 2022 being higher than the costs customers were paying in 2022."

Other Florida utility companies also seek rate increases

Duke Energy Florida is not alone in its request to the Florida Public Service Commission to raise customer rates. This news video highlights other Florida energy suppliers looking to pass along hundreds of millions of dollars in increased costs to consumers starting in April 2023:

What do you think about the proposed rate increases?

Is it already a struggle to pay your monthly bill? If so, how will the proposed rate increase impact you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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