TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you’re a customer of Tampa Electric Company or Duke Energy Florida, your power bills are going up after the Florida Public Service Commission approved a rate increase for both companies to pay for higher costs of natural gas fuel.
TECO and DEF both reportedly sent 2021 fuel cost estimates to Florida PSC. The Commission says that an increase in natural gas prices has created a cost under-recovery for both companies, leading to the approved rate increases.
“Utilities do not earn a profit on fuel charges, and the PSC will continue to ensure utilities have done everything possible to keep fuel costs reasonable, while maintaining a reliable fuel supply,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark.
Going forward, customers will see their bills rise based on usage, with a TECO customer seeing their bill go up just under $13 per month if they use 1,000 kilowatt-hours in a month, or $4.28 per bill for Duke customers.
PSC’s release about the rate hikes cites 1,000 kWh usage for both companies and show the newly approved costs for customers at that amount.
|Utility||Current Bill at 1,000 kWh||New bill at 1,000 kWh|
|Duke Energy Florida, LLC||$127.96/month||$132.24/month|
|Tampa Electric Company||$105.25/month||$119.07/month|
The Commission says the fuel and capacity cost of customer bills is set for each calendar year, but some mid-course corrections happen when a utility’s fuel costs “increase or decrease significantly in the interim.” PSC rules say a utility has to give notice when they’re expecting a 10% change over or under the previously expected cost.
Between the two companies, nearly 800,000 for TECO and more than 1.9 million for Duke according to PSC, roughly 3 million customers will have their bills go up as a result of the rate increases.
The cost change will affect bills for September through December of 2021.
On Aug. 9, Florida PSC will host three virtual hearings over two days for an additional proposed rate increase for TECO customers, based on what the company says is to pay for rising operational costs. You can register to speak at the virtual hearings here.
There was no hearing process for customers to weigh in on the fuel charge cost changes.