Gulf Power residential bills are third-highest in Florida

By Deborah Nelson

Gulf Power residential customers have the third-highest bills in Florida, according to Florida Municipal Electric Association’s (FMEA) November 2016 comparison of statewide rates.

November rates were $154.91 plus local government franchise fees (historically an extra 5 percent in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties) for 1,200 KwH; or $132.19 for 1,000 KwH.

Gulf Power quotes an “average” bill rate of $148.64, in a December 29 press release.

The company didn’t provide specific numbers on how average rates were calculated or what actual rates or fuels costs were.

Gulf Power says they’ll drop rates 3 percent; “by $4.63, from $148.64 to $144.01 for the average residential customer;” in 2017.

The company cites “lower fuel costs used in energy production” for the reduction.

Gulf Power is also pursuing a separate rate increase that would raise the current “average” $148.64 bill to $158.86 – a 7% hike, per an October 12 release.

Gulf Power did not respond to the following email questions from Panhandle Politico:

According to Florida Municipal Electric Association, Gulf Power has the 3d highest rates in the state:  $132.19 per 1,000 KwH (minus franchise fees) for residential customers.  Why are your rates so much higher?

$132.19 minus 3 percent equals $128.22.  Will that be the new rate per 1,000 KwH (minus franchise fees)?

Gulf Power’s rates are considerably higher than Florida public utility rates – why are private utility rates higher than government run operations?

The Florida Public Service Commission oversees electricity utility rates statewide.  Their website clicks over to FMEA, who provided the specific rate numbers cited in this article, through a link titled “Florida Electric Utility Rate Comparisons.”

Havana, Florida had the lowest state rates, at $113.23 for 1,200 KwH or $95.36 for 1,000 KwH.

Gulf Power provided the following table in an October 12, 2016 press release:

Gulf Power residential price changes (Average residential customer)

January 2009 $143.58  
January 2010 $155.50  
January 2011 $141.66  
September 2011 $146.76 Interim base rate increase
January 2012 $138.29 Clause decrease
March 2012 $134.59 Fuel clause decrease
April 2012 $138.65 Base rate increase
July 2012 $127.64 Fuel clause decrease – one of the largest decreases in company history
January 2013 $130.05 Clause and base rate increase
January 2014 $149.59 Clause increase

Base rate increase (Step 1) largest power grid construction project in company history

January 2015 $156.36 Clause increase

Base rate step increase (Step 2) largest power grid construction project in company history

January 2016 $148.64 Fuel/Conservation clause decrease
January 2017 $144.01 Clause decrease, primarily fuel clause decrease
July 2017 $158.86 Base rate increase if full amount is approved by the FPSC

Monthly price for average residential customers.

 

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