Florida Public Utilities clarifies letter on rate increase

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    The TIMES office has been flooded with calls, texts and emails regarding the recent information sent out to customers of Florida Public Utilities. Emotions are still running rampant with many residents not fully recovered from Hurricane Michael damage. To get to the root of the problem, the TIMES went straight to Florida Public Utilities.
    Long time FPU employee Mason Brock gave insight to the increase that will alleviate many concerns, “Really, people need to wait because it’s really not going to change a lot. One part of the bill is changing. Its’ that Hurricane Michael recovery part that is changing going to the rate of return but the purchase power price which is the biggest part of the bill, I’d say three quarters of your bill, is actually going down. The two prices are actually going to offset each other so you really are not going to notice anything at all as just a regular customer.”
    FPU issued the following notice, “FPU apologizes for any confusion or concern that was the result of a recent notice sent concerning an electric rate adjustment. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify some information and reassure our customers that the average electric customer will see an increase of less that 1% or 46 cents on their monthly bill. This slight increase is the result and offset of a negotiated decrease in fuel costs.”
    The rate is scheduled to take place on January 1, 2020.
    About how it will affect the average bill, FPU said, “Based on an analysis between current rates and the new rates, to include fuel cost reductions, the typical residential electric bill will only increase by an average of 46 cents.” Below is a chart showing a customer bill sample and new rates that will become effective January 02, 2020.
    FPU offered the following explanation as to why these costs are passed on to the electric customers, “As a direct result of the complete destruction and more than $65 million dollars in repairs to the FPU electric distribution system in Northwest Florida caused by Hurricane Michael in October 2018, on August 7, 2019, FPU filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) seeking permission to increase rates. FPU filed only to recover costs and investments necessary to restore FPU’s Northwest electric distribution system. We appreciate and value our customers and it is our sincere hope that this additional clarification will ease any concerns.”
    FPU directed any questions or concerns to their local office at 850-526-6800 or in person at 2825 Pennsylvania Avenue, Marianna.

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