Duke Energy Request Increase
With the biomass power plant coming online, rates for Gainesville Regional Utilities customers are going up, but they aren't the only customers who rates may go up soon.
Duke Energy, which now owns Progress Energy, is asking for a rate increase.
For those of you who have Duke Energy, you could see more than an $8.00 increase in your monthly bill starting January 2014, if the Public Service Commission approves the proposal.
Some Duke Energy customers said they are not happy about higher rates, but there's not much they can do about it.
Hang drying clothes is just one thing Tammy Pike of Ocala does to save energy, in hopes of reducing her monthly electricity bill.
"For us we try very hard to maintain a low electric bill. When we do our laundry I always hang my laundry out and that saves money I know. I don't turn the hot water heater on unless I absolutely need it because that's one of the big things that take a lot of electricity," said Pike.
Pikes electricity comes from Duke Energy. She said her monthly bill is usually over $200.
"I can't remember exactly last month. I think it was around $235 $240. I know the month before was $266," said Pike.
By January 2014 she and other Duke Energy customers may see an increase in the monthly electric bill.
Last Friday Duke Energy filed a request for an increase of approximately $8.24 per month.
"It's upsetting because everything is going up. It's $8 here and then it maybe a little bit more money for something else and compounded it's just all adding up and it puts stress on all families," said Pike.
A Duke Energy press release explains the $8.24 will pay for an increase in fuel and nuclear costs.
The largest increase, $6.84 is in the fuel charge, which recovers the actual cost of fuel.
The press release states Duke Energy makes no profit from the fuel component of the bill.
An 89 cent charge will cover costs at the crystal river nuclear plant, even though the company shut down the facility.
"Unfortunately with electricity you can't. Shop around. It is what it is. It's hard for the small consumer to fight it. What do you do to say no I am not paying anymore. It's just seems like a lot of increase all the time and there's just no way to fight it. You just have to take it and its not fair," said Pike.
Ocala's Helga Park who also is a Duke Energy customer said she doesn't want her rates going up, but tries to think positive.
"I'm not thrilled about it, but as I was saying in America we are really blessed to have 24 hour power," said Park.
It's up to the Florida Service Public Commission to decide if Duke Energy can increase their rates, but that decision won't be made until early November.
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