ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida (DEF), consumer representatives and business groups have reached a sweeping agreement that will advance the clean energy vision for the state, introduce innovative programs for customers, retire coal plants faster and bring additional certainty to rates through 2024.
The agreement, filed on Jan. 14, 2021, is subject to approval by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC).
It includes investments to modernize the electric grid and improve reliability, offers new electric vehicle charging station programs, and supports pilot programs for innovative technology such as microgrids and floating solar pilot projects.
The agreement also provides a new optional residential "Time-of-Use" rate, reduces hurricane cost recovery impacts to customers, removes residential credit card fees for bill payments and includes accelerated retirement dates for DEF's last two coal units eight years ahead of schedule, from 2042 to 2034, in support of the company's carbon reduction goals.
After five months of negotiation, the agreement was developed with customer representatives of several consumer groups, including the state's Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Nucor Steel Florida, Inc. and White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, Inc. d/b/a PCS Phosphate.
"This agreement provides a path to minimize bill increases while continuing to make smart investments that will offer customers greater reliability, cleaner energy alternatives and innovative technology," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. "During these challenging times, it also provides rate certainty and clarity for Florida customers and communities regarding future adjustments."
The agreement will take effect in January 2022 and will include base rate investments of approximately $5 billion over the next three years while minimizing the impact on customer bills.
If approved, DEF's base rates will increase by $67.2 million in 2022, and by another $48.9 million in 2023 and another $79.2 million in 2024, for a cumulative rate increase of $195.4 million.
As a result, Duke Energy Florida's average residential customers will see a bill increase of 3% to 4% in 2022.
Nonresidential customer bill increases will vary based on consumption patterns, but most will see increases of 1% to 6.5% in 2022.
All customer classes will see an annual bill increase of approximately 1% to 2% in 2023 and 2024.
Duke Energy Florida has requested the FPSC to hold a hearing and hopes to have a decision by second quarter 2021.
For more information on how Duke Energy Florida is building a smarter energy grid and future updates, visit duke-energy.com/FLFuture.
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.