Duke Energy Florida cuts rates for customers

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For the fourth time in three years, Duke Energy's Florida customers will see lower electric rates, if plans are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.

The company filed a request with the FPSC to reduce rates, beginning with April 2016 billing, due to lower projected natural gas prices.

The net fuel and capacity cost change will cut $5.83 from the typical 1,000-kWh residential customer's monthly bill for a total cost of $108.32.

Business customers will also see similar rate reductions depending on a number of factors including rate class and type of service.

Duke Energy Florida's typical residential rate is about 20 percent below the national average. According to the Consumer Price Index, costs for housing, transportation and food have increased, while Duke Energy Florida rates have dropped. Duke Energy Florida previously reduced the residential rates by more than 6 percent in January 2016.

Duke Energy Florida works to actively manage its fuel contracts and keep costs as low as possible for customers. The company makes no profit from the fuel component of rates.

Other cost-saving price changes are on the horizon. In the spring, the company plans to issue low-cost bonds to cut costs associated with the Crystal River nuclear plant. This process, called Asset Securitization, will save customers about $600 million as compared to traditional cost recovery methods, depending on the interest rate.

Once in place, customers will see a new line on the bill titled "Asset Securitization Charge." The amount of the charge is currently estimated to be about $2.93/month, which is about $2 less – a more than 35 percent savings for the next 20 years – than what customers would pay on a 1,000 kWh residential bill under traditional cost recovery methods.

Individual electric bills vary greatly and depend on the amount of electricity used.

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