TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — On Tuesday, the Florida Public Service Commission announced that increased costs for utility companies will be passed on to consumers starting in January.
The culprit in this case is rising electricity production costs due to an increase in fuel prices. Most of the Sunshine State’s power is generated by using natural gas, and the cost of this commodity has been volatile during 2022.
$5 INCREASE IN JANUARY
As a result, customers of Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Florida Public Utilities will end up paying more on their January bill. The Public Service Commission uses a benchmark of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) usage to show how the increase may affect consumers.
For example, in January, customers of Florida Power & Light would see roughly a $5 increase on their bill if they consumed 1,000 kWh. Another $5 bill hike is expected in February.
BIGGER SPIKE IN TAMPA
Those in the Tampa area served by Tampa Electric will face higher price increases. According to WKRG News 5, a 1,000-kWh bill would go from $132.66 to $146.72 – a hike over $14.
“We recognize the economic challenges our customers are facing, and we know that an increase is not welcome news. We are doing everything we can to reduce the effect of rising fuel costs, and we are working with customers to help manage their bills today,” Tampa Electric CEO Archie Collins told WKRG News 5.
The Miami Herald reported that Andrew Fey – Chairman of the Public Service Commission – expressed frustration over the rising fuel costs and urged the panel to focus on risk management in this area.
However, with the volatility of natural gas prices, it’s difficult to see a resolution beneficial for consumers unless those rates stabilize. A number of domestic policies – such as the Biden administration’s crackdown on fossil fuels – as well as geopolitical factors – impact the price of natural gas.