Florida investor-owned utilities experience bill increase in January

January 12, 2023 – Customers of Florida Power & Light (FPL), Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Florida Public Utilities Co. will see their electric rates increase this month. Rates may increase again for these utilities in the spring due to higher costs of natural gas used to fuel power plants.

Electric bills consist of a combination of different expenses including base rates, fuel costs and environmental costs. Each year, the Public Service Commission (PSC) meets in the fall to discuss costs and how much will be passed on to customers in the coming year.

When rates are discussed, utilities use the benchmark of customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours in a month. In December, the PSC voted for the following costs to take effect in January:

  • FPL has two sets of rates due to a merger with the former Gulf Power. FPL residential customers in areas traditionally served by the utility will see 1,000-kilowatt-hour bills go from the current $120.67 to $125.39 in January, and then to $129.59 in February.
  • Former Gulf Power customers in Northwest Florida who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see their bills go down a penny in January to $155.60, according to the commission, but the bills increase to $159.79 in February.
  • Duke customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from the current $150.02 to $168.90 in January, according to the commission.
  • Tampa Electric customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from $132.66 to $146.72.
  • Florida Public Utilities Co. customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from $142.80 to $175.46.

Utilities can seek “mid-course corrections” if costs are significantly higher than anticipated. Proposals for corrections typically happen in January which will likely increase rates by April. It is anticipated that both FPL and Duke will seek mid-course corrections after they are able to analyze year-end actuals.

Rising costs for essential resources are not just a major concern for investor-owned utilities, but also for cooperatives like LCEC. A Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) increase was implemented for LCEC members in July 2022. This power cost adjustment was the direct result of rising purchased power costs passed on from our power supplier, FPL. Before this increase, LCEC hadn’t had a PCA increase since 2008, but did have five PCA decreases since 2014.