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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017 3 years ago

Power bills to increase in 2018

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With or without a pending settlement that allows Duke Energy to invest in smart meters and solar, Florida's energy costs are below the national average.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Duke Energy Florida has submitted its annual request to set 2018 electric rates with the Florida Public Service Commission, and there could be an 8.5% increase — to $128.54 per 1,000 kilowatts per hour. A Duke release based the increase on fuel costs, capacity, energy conservation and environmental costs.

However, last month, Duke Energy filed a settlement agreement that could alter that increase. A decision should be made by December.

“This settlement agreement will include investments of nearly $6 billion over the next four years while minimizing the impact on customer bills,” said Ana Gibbs, Duke Energy's senior communications consultant. “The settlement agreement includes investments in solar energy, smart meters, grid modernization projects to enhance reliability, (which) make the grid more resilient and secure, and optional billing programs to enhance customer choices. The agreement also includes plans to install electric vehicle charging stations and a battery storage pilot program.”

Residents currently pay $118.41 per 1,000 kWh. If the settlement is not approved, the January 2018 residential bill would be $128.54 per 1,000 kWh, according to Gibbs. If the agreement is approved, the bill would rise a smaller percentage, to $123.90 per 1,000, she said.

The national average is $132.20 per 1,000, Gibbs said.

“Through cost management and careful planning, Duke Energy Florida has made thoughtful investments to significantly enhance service reliability and reduce emissions for our customers,” Harry Sideris, president of Duke Energy Florida, said in the release.

Duke Energy Florida provides about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

 

Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].

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