ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, today filed requests to lower average residential customer bills by 6 percent.
The company filed its annual requests with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to recover the costs the company has paid for fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. Fuel is one of the largest components of the electric rate.
Upon approval, the company's annual filings would result in an overall decrease of approximately $7.44 per month, or nearly $90 per year, on a 1,000 kilowatt-hour (kWh) residential bill, from the current $123.19 to about $115.75. If approved by the PSC, new prices will take effect with the first billing cycle in January.
"Progress Energy Florida is working to manage and mitigate expenses, and we are focused on keeping electric costs as low as possible for the more than 1.6 million households and businesses that depend on us," said Vincent Dolan, Progress Energy Florida state president. "We are working every day to operate our business more efficiently while continuing to provide our customers increasingly clean, reliable and affordable power now and in the future."
The total reduction includes a $129 million refund to customers in 2013 as part of a comprehensive rate settlement previously approved by the Public Service Commission.
Customers will benefit from settlement-related refunds totaling $288 million through 2016.
A filing for investments in environmental compliance projects as required by state and federal law was made Aug. 30. The company plans to file its costs for annual energy-efficiency programs Sept. 12.
Below is a summary of the filings, based on a monthly 1,000-kWh residential bill:
- Fuel: Filed today; decrease of $14.67 (from $48.60 to $33.93)
- Purchased power: Filed today; increase of 70 cents (from $11.74 to $12.44)
- Environmental compliance: Filed Aug. 30; decrease of 42 cents (from $5.45 to $5.03)
- New nuclear generation: Filed May 1 and revised by a partial deferral requested Aug. 14; increase of $1.87 (from $2.86 to $4.73)
- Energy-efficiency programs: To be filed Sept. 12; projecting minimal change from the current $2.88 charge.
When the adjustments in these filings are included with previously approved base rates and the gross receipts tax, the average customer bill would reflect an average decrease of $7.44 per month.
The largest decrease is in the fuel charge, which recovers the actual cost of fuel, mainly natural gas and coal, used to generate electricity. The continued low commodity price of natural gas and the settlement refund have reduced this charge.
The Aug. 31 filing also included estimates for an increase in the cost of purchased power. Utilities routinely purchase power to ensure customers' energy needs are met in the most cost-effective manner possible.
The environmental compliance charge, filed Aug. 30, recovers the costs of environmental investments. Environmental improvements operating since May 2010 at the utility's two largest coal-fired units, Crystal River 4 and 5, now allow Progress Energy Florida to use less expensive coal while reducing average annual emissions at the units by 80 percent; nitrogen oxides by approximately 93 percent and sulfur dioxide by approximately 97 percent.
The PSC hearings on the fuel, capacity, environmental and energy-efficiency charges will take place Nov. 5-7. The PSC will finalize Progress Energy's nuclear charge Nov. 20. At that time, the total 2013 customer bill will be determined.
For more information about Florida rates and a detailed breakdown of a current residential customer bill, visit www.progress-energy.com/floridarates.
Progress Energy Florida
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.