2022 rates provide more flexibility for customers, cleaner and more reliable energy.
Creative solution to sharply limit impact of necessary investment, fuel increases.
Company continues to offer customer assistance, extended payment plans.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy Florida is proposing measures to cut the impact of new rates that take effect in January of 2022 by roughly a third.
Working in cooperation with customer groups, Duke Energy Florida has developed an innovative plan to spread the recovery of approximately $247 million of unrecovered fuel costs over two years and forego immediate recovery of costs related to recent storms, among other actions. These steps are estimated to reduce a residential 1,000-kWh customer bill by up to $4.67 monthly, on average.
“We’re always considering how to soften the impact on customer bills, so we’re pleased to propose this creative way to reduce the increase by 33%,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We want to deliver real value to our customers, including more control of their bills, a stronger, more reliable grid and cleaner energy.”
The rate mitigation agreement helps account for rising natural gas costs, which are market driven and passed through to customers with no markup. Together with the proposed reductions, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see an increase of $9.24 in their monthly bill, on average, for 2022. Commercial and industrial customers will see bill impacts ranging from a 1% to 8% increase.
The specific bill impact will vary depending on several factors.
Residential customers will also benefit from the removal of credit card fees for bill payments beginning in 2022.
Expanding low-income programs
Duke Energy Florida also recently proposed modifications to demonstrate the company’s leadership and commitment to implement innovative energy efficiency and demand-side management programs.
The modifications specifically recognize the economic hardships many customers are experiencing due to the pandemic and the company’s desire to help its customers reduce their energy bills, as well as provide bill payment assistance.
The filing was part of an agreement developed with customer representatives of several consumer groups, including the CLEO Institute, Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
"Too many families are struggling with unnecessarily high energy bills because their homes lack the basic energy efficiency improvements needed to reduce energy waste," said George Cavros, Florida Energy Policy Attorney for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. "We thank Duke Energy for its engagement with stakeholders on this first step towards addressing Florida’s significant energy affordability challenge."
Here is a summary of the filing:
- Duke Energy Florida will increase the Neighborhood Energy Savers targeted customers by 5%.
- The company is also making temporary changes to the approved Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA) programs for lower-income customers at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and who have arrearages that are greater than 60 days. In order to provide almost immediate relief to those customers, all eligible customers enrolled in the company’s approved Residential Demand Response Program will receive a $30 “assistance incentive” in the form of a gift card that can be used to help pay their energy bill.
- The second modification to FEECA programs will offer 20,000 assistance kits to provide meaningful energy efficiency savings to customers in need.
The complete filing can be reviewed here.
New and existing assistance programs are currently available, all purposefully designed to help customers affected by economic hardships over the course of 2020 and 2021.
Agency assistance may be available to cover some or all past-due utility bill balances. To learn about agencies in your area, dial 211, visit 211.org online or text your ZIP code to 898211 for information on where to get help.
“We are committed to assisting all of our customers, especially those who are most vulnerable. We are here when they need us most,” said Malcolm Barnes, Duke Energy’s general manager for regional customer care operations. “Our customer care specialists are prepared to provide support and manageable solutions through these challenging times so customers can keep their lights on.”
Duke Energy’s Energy Neighbor Fund (ENF) also helps those in need pay their energy bills. The ENF is comprised of donations from employees and customers, of which the Duke Energy Foundation matches up to $500,000. One hundred percent of the funds collected are distributed locally through social service agencies, community action agencies or United Way organizations to help those in need. To find an agency in your county, visit duke-energy.com/ENF.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Ana Gibbs
Media line: 800.559.3853