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Local News

Gulf Power to Drop Rates in Early 2016

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Gulf Power
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Beginning in January, look for some electric bills to contain slightly lower numbers.

If approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, Gulf Power’s 430,000 customers from Pensacola to the Big Bend will see a 2.7% decrease. That means the residential charge for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will drop $3.71, to $135.58.

Jeff Rogers at the utility says continued lower prices in natural gas and coal used to generate electricity is fueling the decrease, which is a small way is repeating history.

“In 2012 we were able to announce the largest decrease in our company’s history that we were able to pass along to our customers,” said Rogers. “This is not that large, but it is something and we’re happy to make that happen.”

Each January the PSC adjusts the prices of Gulf Power and other utilities around the state to reflect changes in what they spend on fuel, along with environmental compliance and energy conservation programs. And on the subject of conservation….

“You get these days where the days that are in the 90s and nights that are in the mid-80s,” Rogers said. “That air conditioner tends to run a lot and push that bill. So it’s important to pay attention to the weather; maybe push the thermostat up a notch, and you can always draw curtains when the sun’s shining.”

Another money-saver is the free energy checkups, where Gulf Power representatives come to the home for an inspection. Afterward, they offer no-cost and low-cost remedies to make the home more energy-efficient.

For those having problems meeting their electric bills, spokesman Jeff Rogers says there are a number of programs available to lend a hand.

Just last January, Gulf Power’s rates went up seven dollars per thousand kilowatt hours to offset rising fuel costs. The hike was aimed at increasing revenue by $35 million through base rates, with another $20 million dollar boost. It was also expected to provide 42 months of rate stability.