ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida (DEF) customers will see lower bills in 2021.
The company plans to decrease Florida residential rates by 2.8% while making grid improvements to enhance reliability, security and resilience in 2021 and beyond.
The rate reflects an expected decrease in DEF's storm cost recovery and fuel charges.
Rates for 2021 will also reflect grid reliability investments to reduce the number and duration of outages, and DEF's annual capacity, energy conservation, storm protection plan and environmental compliance clause costs.
If approved, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see a decrease of $3.63 or 2.8% in their monthly bill beginning January 2021. Commercial and industrial customers will see bill impacts ranging from a 6.6% decrease to a 1.1% increase.
However, the specific bill impact will vary depending on several factors. This decrease will be partially offset when rates are adjusted to include the investments in the Twin Rivers and Santa Fe solar plants as they come online in early 2021.
"In 2021, Duke Energy Florida is bringing new services and technologies to our customers while lowering costs and keeping residential rates for electricity lower than the national average," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. "While our customers' bills are decreasing, we know some of them continue to face financial hardships. We're providing enhanced care and expanded assistance for those impacted by the pandemic."
Enhanced customer care
Duke Energy Florida has been proactively working with customers who are accumulating past-due balances on their utility bills, offering payment plans to mitigate potentially more significant financial challenges in the future.
The company will continue to provide assistance to residential and business customers whose accounts have fallen behind due to illness or lost wages.
Support for these efforts include:
- Online tools so customers can directly choose an extended payment arrangement that meets their individual needs. Customers can make a six-month payment arrangement with zero down payment. We ask customers who need more time to contact us to discuss their specific situation and needs.
- Customers who need additional assistance can visit the Energy Neighbor Fund webpage to learn how community agencies can help pay energy bills.
- Professional guidance for small business customers to help analyze their energy usage, discuss energy rates and identify solutions to help lower their energy bills as they are reopening.
- To make it easier to pay, the company will continue waiving credit/debit card and walk-in payment fees for residential customers for an additional two months once billing and payment practices resume. These fees will resume in November.
- Customers who need financial assistance are encouraged to visit 211.org or call 211 to locate available resources. The free service can help customers find local community agencies that provide assistance to meet a wide range of needs, including medical expenses and health counseling, child and elder care, housing, food and other essentials and utility bills.
Customers should download the company's mobile app or visit duke-energy.com for information and most service transactions. Customers who are unable to self-serve can contact the customer contact center at 800.700.8744.
Duke Energy's customer service specialists are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist customers with customized payment plans that meet their specific situations.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2020 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact: Ana Gibbs
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SOURCE Duke Energy