DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Power & Light customers will see another increase in their power bills starting in 2023. FPL said the increase is part of a 4-year base rate plan, but fuel costs are going to make an even bigger impact on customers’ wallets.
“The price for gas in our car has come down and kind of stabilized,” said FPL spokesperson Sarah Gatewood. “That’s not the case in natural gas and we’re actually more than 75% higher than it was this time last year.”
2023 monthly increase:
- 1,000 kWh or less — a nearly $5 base rate increase
- Will increase even more if usage is over 1,000 kWh (not yet specified)
The energy giant said they understand the frustration with the price increase but are working to try and ease the transition.
“We have a lot of energy efficiency and savings tips on our website, but we also have the ability for someone to come and go through your home with you and provide an energy audit,” said Gatewood. “So if customers are worried about increasing or seeing their bill higher than they want to pay, please reach out to us through our website or through customer service lines for that. We can work with you and try and help you see where you might be able to realize savings before those bills go up in 2023.”
The 2023 increase is under review by the Public Service Commission. Once approved, the new rate will start Jan. 1, 2023. A decision is expected at the end of Oct. or Nov.
The 4-year Base Rate Plan:
FPL released an approved 4-year base rate plan to increase energy usage for a temporary time. Overall, the plan was meant to even out and lower costs at the end of the planned timeframe.
Gatewood told WKRG News 5 that the goal of the plan remains the same, but changing fuel costs are throwing a wrench into it.
“A year ago we were projecting fuel prices to be significantly lower than they are now and we were expecting the bill to continue to go down every year,” said Gatewood. “But the change in fuel prices has really thrown that off and so unfortunately now instead of a slight decrease next year, we’re looking at an increase.”
Customers can monitor usage on the online portal. FPL said there are many ways they can reduce usage.
“If you go to fpl.com/waystosave, that is where we have a lot of our energy savings tips,” said Gatewood. “We have an online tool that you can use if you don’t want to talk to someone on the phone or have someone at your house. You have free online tools that you can use that looks at your account and shows where you can maybe find savings within your home energy.”
FPL is strong on the solar power initiative. Gatewood said the energy source does not use fuel, making it cheaper overall.
“The solar that we put in are large scale big solar farms that feed the grid for everyone because we are able to do that cost-effectively, meaning it is the lowest cost option. Now it’s cheaper than building a natural gas plant or anything else because it uses no fuel and it doesn’t have a lot of maintenance costs,” said Gatewood. “If customers choose to put solar on the roof, they can still do that and we work with them to attend that meter. It’s really up to them and deciding if that is the best or right vision for them based on a lot of factors.”