Gulf Power Bills Are Headed Up; Average Usage In 2007 Cost $70, Will Jump To $113 By September

July 30, 2008

If you are a Gulf Power customer, your electricity will cost you more beginning with your September bill.

Tuesday, the Florida Public Service Commission approved an 11.3 percent increase for Gulf Power, the electric utility in the area of North Escambia from Century south through Molino and continuing south into Pensacola. Areas such as Bratt, Oak Grove, Walnut Hill and Davisville west to Baldwin County, Alabama, are served by Escambia River Electric Cooperative.

Residential Gulf Power customers will see an increase of 11.3 percent, raising the cost of 1,000 kilowatt hours from $102.22 to $113.76. In September 2007, that same amount of electricity would cost just $70.29.

Citing double-digit increases in the price of natural gas and coal, Gulf Power asked the Florida Public Service Commission to approve an increase in electricity prices to cover a $76 million shortfall in 2008 revenues.

Gulf Power makes no profit on the cost of fuel. Customers are billed only what Gulf Power pays for the fuels used to make electricity.

To lessen the impact on customers, Gulf Power asked the FPSC to spread the increase out until the end of 2009, rather than collecting all of the shortfall in 2008 – the normal annual recovery period.

“The increase in the cost of fuel that we are experiencing is unprecedented,” said Gulf Power’s General Manager of Public Affairs John Hutchinson. “We don’t like increasing our prices especially at this difficult time. But just like the rising cost of gasoline, the cost of the fuels we use continues to climb. By spreading the shortfall out over a longer period of time we hope to lessen the impact as much as possible.”

The average price of coal, which fuels more than 80 percent of Gulf Power’s electricity generation, has risen 30 percent in the last year while average natural gas prices have jumped 47 percent since 2007.

Gulf Power was the third major utility in Florida to seek a mid-year fuel adjustment, with Florida Power and Light and Progress Energy seeking increases earlier this month. Normally, the FPSC adjusts electricity prices each January for fuel price fluctuations. But coal and natural gas prices have risen so rapidly in 2008, utilities are being forced to ask for mid-year adjustments.

Electric utility customers pay only the actual fuel costs that the company incurs. When fuel prices go up, the additional costs are passed through to customers. And when fuel prices go down, the savings are passed through to customers. Fuel costs have a major impact on electricity bills, accounting for almost 50 percent of the total bill.

To help customers, Gulf Power offers free energy checkups to identify energy efficiency measures to save homeowners and businesses money on their electricity bills. The company also offers rebates on Geothermal heating and cooling systems which save up to 40 percent on heating and cooling costs, as well as innovative rates and residential energy management systems to help customers lower their bills. And, the company offers a number of payment options and programs to help customers smooth out payments during high-bill months. Plan details and energy-saving tips are available at www.gulfpower.com.

Comments

2 Responses to “Gulf Power Bills Are Headed Up; Average Usage In 2007 Cost $70, Will Jump To $113 By September”

  1. J.Larry Seale on July 30th, 2008 6:40 pm

    Its not fair to the customers of Gulf Power for a PSC meeting
    to be held in Tallaahssee. Nor was it fair for the meeting to held
    in the middle of the week must less middle of the day….

    It’s ALL A BIG SHAME !!!!! We had no voice,nor were we
    able to address the PSC !!!

    Once again,the working man and his family get the big
    shaft from our elected officials…………

    I don’t know how much longer are we going to be able
    to hold out,much less survive when a fuel addjustment
    is pass on to the customers…….

    JLSeale
    Gonzalez,Fla.

  2. C WILLIAMS on July 30th, 2008 11:36 am

    THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE GULF POWER SHOULD FEEL GOOD . BECAUSE I PAY MORE IN POWER COST ADJUSTMENT THAN THEY PAY FOR A 1000 K/W





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