DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — January was the first month for new payments to Florida Power and Light. While usage does go up in January due to the cold and more people running heaters, some customers said this bill increase is the rate, not the usage.

For customers like Michael Bogenreif, their bills nearly doubled. Florida Power and Light, which changed its name from Gulf Power on Jan. 1, said they announced the rate increase last year. The average increase for those who use less energy is about $15 dollars and increases with more energy used.

“December being Gulf Power and January being Florida Power, the dollars per kilowatt-hour have jumped up 32.6 percent,” said Bogenrief.

“It’s really made up of two things. A part of that is an increase in base rates. All the day-to-day things except for fuel,” said Sarah Gatewood, Florida Power & Light Company Communications Manager. “Fuel is a separate line item on your bill. and It so happens that January brought higher fuel prices. “

Florida Power & Light said the rate increase is part of a 4-year plan agreed to by Gulf Power. By the end the company said rates will actually be lower than they were in 2021.

The Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, CHELCO, is another option for some Northwest Florida residents for electric power. From an online coverage map, they do not service Destin and Miramar Beach.

CHELCO Coverage Map, Outage map 1/24/2022

“We don’t have the ability to go out and decide we are going to use Florida Power and Light today versus one of the power lines companies tomorrow. We are stuck with who is our supplier,” said Bogenreif.

If you see a problem with your bill, Florida power says the best way to contact them is through the customer service number on your bill.

Read more about FPL Northwest Fl here.

More about CHELCO:

Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc., (CHELCO) is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative employing more than 160 people and serving more than 58,000 accounts in Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes and Santa Rosa counties in the panhandle of Florida.

The cooperative owns and maintains over 4,100 miles of line including those on Eglin Air Force Base.f

To contact CHELCO, click here. To view their pricing information and new customer service applications, click here.