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Gulf Power offers break to customers hit by pandemic

Residential and small-business customers might be eligible for bill credits up to $200.

Gulf Power will give a break to some customers who are behind on their electricity bills because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Northwest Florida utility said Tuesday that residential and small-business customers might be eligible for bill credits up to $200.

To qualify, customers would have to pay outstanding balance amounts minus the bill credits. For example, a customer who owed $600 would have to pay $400, with a $200 bill credit making up the remainder, according to an announcement from Gulf.

The plan is similar to an effort announced in September by Gulf’s sister utility, Florida Power & Light. Both utilities are part of NextEra Energy.

Gulf said customers eligible for the credits have been “pre-identified based on their account status” and will be contacted through email or direct mail. Also, Gulf is planning to speed up deposit refunds for eligible small businesses.

“We remain committed to doing everything we can to support customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, including offering direct bill relief to eligible customers to help them get back on their feet,” Gulf President Marlene Santos said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “While most of our customers have continued to pay their bills on time, others may be struggling — and we want to help.”

The announcement did not detail how many of Gulf’s 470,000 customers would be eligible for the assistance.

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Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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