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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Florida Public Utilities Will Raise Local Electricity Bills Another 11% On January 1, 2009

By Sid Riley

Florida Public Service Commission approves rate hike.

Well, they are going to do it again. On November 17 the Florida Public Service Commission which regulates Florida’s Electric Utilities and determines what rates they can charge their customers, approved a 11% rate hike for Florida Public Utilities. FPU is the investor owned utility which serves the Marianna area in Jackson County.

This scheduled increase comes shortly after a study which was conducted by a utilities consultant and paid for by the Marianna City Commission, revealed that Florida Public Utilities already has one of the highest power rates in the state of Florida. FPU customers are currently paying $123.45 per 1000 kilowatt hour (including fuel charges), and the new approved rate will raise that cost to $136.71 per 1000 kwh.

Utilities are allowed to recover only the prudently incurred costs of purchasing fuel and power as necessary to meet customer demand, and are not allowed to make a profit on fuel purchases. The fuel charge appears on customer bills as a separate line item charge.

FPU’s franchise with the City of Marianna expires in 2010, and the city officials are currently in the process of evaluating their options before granting a renewal to FPU. We should all carefully observe what transpires in this matter in the coming months. Meanwhile, Marianna residents can expect to pay even more for electricity as of January 2009.

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