Duke Energy Florida is seeking to limit the impact of volatile natural gas prices on customer bills by proposing a fuel adjustment.
The utility company has chosen to recover approximately $247 million from increased fuel costs over a longer period of time, lowering monthly rate increases. That means, rather than recover costs over a shortened 10-month period in 2022, Duke Energy will spread the recovery over a longer period, starting in March and ending no earlier than February 2023.
By recovering over a longer period, the monthly bill impact to a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh is reduced by about 1%, according to the energy company. A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see an increase of $6.62 in the customer’s monthly bill, on average, for 2022.
Commercial and industrial customers will see bill impacts ranging from a 4% to 10% increase.
“We want to help our customers who may already be struggling to pay their current energy bills,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We are working hard to minimize the impact and provide customers the opportunity to better manage their energy usage and reduce their bills. In addition, we are managing our fuel and generation resources in the most cost-effective manner for our customers, and our rate mitigation plan will continue to reduce some of the price pressure on customers.”
The recovery comes as a response to increases in natural gas prices. Since January 2021, natural gas prices have increased almost 45% and remain volatile, with unpredictable events driving up prices and causing supply uncertainty.
The change would take effect in March 2022. The company does not earn any profit from fluctuating fuel costs.
The utility company currently uses natural gas as its main fuel source to generate electricity at most of its Florida power plants.
The Florida Public Service Commission approved Duke Energy Florida’s Rate Mitigation Plan on Nov. 2.
It will remain in place and continue to benefit customers by spreading the
Residential customers will also benefit from the removal of credit card fees for bill payments beginning in 2022.