Utility Seeks Boost in Electric Rates

Industry, Legislative/Regulatory,

Florida PSC logoArticle reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.

Pointing to issues such as inflation and a need to upgrade technology, Florida Public Utilities Co. will ask state regulators to approve an increase in base electric rates. Florida Public Utilities Co. is a relatively small electric utility, with 33,090 customers in Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty and Nassau counties. It notified the state Public Service Commission on Tuesday that it needs an estimated $11.5 million to $13 million in additional revenue. A notification letter said the company’s current base rates took effect in November 2014. “As such, the primary reason for our need to seek rate relief at this time is the impact of inflation on the cost of materials and labor since the last rate proceeding and the significant capital investment needed to enhance and modernize the company's electric distribution and transmission assets, including costs associated with the implementation of newer, more advanced technologies to improve service to customers and to enhance our cybersecurity to protect against increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks,” the letter said. The company said it plans to file a more-detailed petition on Aug. 19. While it will seek approval of a rate increase that would take effect Jan. 1, it also indicated it will seek an interim increase while the broader request is being considered. The letter did not detail the potential effects on customers’ monthly bills. The letter came as Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. also seek approval of increased base rates. Florida Public Utilities Co. is a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. It also provides natural gas in various parts of the state.