Sunday, May 19, 2024

Electric bills in Tampa Bay to decrease next month

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State Regulators Approve Plans for Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. Customers to Save Money

State regulators have approved plans that will result in savings for customers of Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. starting in June. The savings come from lower-than-expected natural gas costs, which will be passed along to customers. This decision follows a similar plan approved for Florida Power & Light last month.

Florida utilities heavily rely on natural gas to power their plants, and with volatile gas prices in recent years, customers often see fluctuations in their bills. The approved plans are expected to save Duke customers about $233.5 million and Tampa Electric customers about $137.9 million.

For residential customers who consume 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, Duke customers will see their bills decrease from $160.58 in May to $154.68 in June, while Tampa Electric customers will see their bills go from $143.48 to $136.44. These savings come in addition to lowered bills at the beginning of 2024 due to reduced fuel costs.

Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president, expressed her excitement about the approvals, especially as warmer months approach. She highlighted that customers’ monthly bills consist of various costs, with fuel costs being the second-largest component after base rates.

The Public Service Commission sets projected fuel costs each fall for the upcoming year, but if actual costs differ significantly, utilities can seek mid-course corrections, as seen with Duke, Tampa Electric, and FPL’s recent filings. Additionally, Duke and Tampa Electric have proposed increased base rates from 2025 to 2027, which the commission will review in the coming months.

It’s important to note that utilities can pass along costs related to restoring power after hurricanes, which could impact customer bills if Florida experiences storms this year. Overall, these approved plans aim to provide relief to customers and lower their electricity bills.

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