Florida Power and Light (FPL) says it is cutting bill rates for residential customers as Floridians are impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Earlier this year, the company announced a reduction in operating costs would trickle down to customers in the form of lower billing rates. A 1,000-kilowatt-hour customer bill was nearly $100 in Dec. 2019. That same customer would pay just over $96 thanks to the cut — for a savings of nearly $4 per month.
But as the COVID-19 virus continues to impact the state, the company is offering a one-time rate slash of more than $20 more. That 1,000-kilowatt-hour bill would now be approximately $74. That’s around 30% lower than the U.S. average, according to a study cited by the company.
That cut would go into effect on May 1, and is driven by a drastic drop in fuel prices.
“Everyone at FPL understands how critical it is to continue to provide reliable electricity and to keep as much money as possible in our customers’ pockets,” said Eric Silagy, the company’s President and CEO.
“Traditionally, our regulators expect these types of savings to be spread out over the balance of the year. However, challenging times call for exceptional measures. I believe this one-time bill decrease is the most effective way to infuse customers with much-needed money as we all navigate through this difficult and unsettling time together.”
With testing for everyone still unavailable, government officials still do not have a grasp on how many people have the virus. That means rather than quarantining those known individuals, officials have had to take the drastic step of recommending everyone stay away from large groups, just in case someone has the virus.
Many workers have been asked to work from home. But with an economic slowdown being forecast for the next few months, others have already lost their jobs.
That’s led to economic uncertainty for many residents.
Some local governments have taken action to help provide relief for Floridians, such as temporarily barring evictions. FPL is now adding to those efforts by allowing customers to save on their power bills.