(The Center Square) — As the Sunshine State moves into autumn months, electricity rates remain where they are, at least for now.
According to data from the Florida Public Service Commission, the average monthly bill for residential customers has not changed much since summer, with rates continuing to linger between $135 per month and $175 per month at the top end for residential customers who are connected to the state’s investor-owned electric companies.
The PSC has regulatory authority in all aspects of operations, rates and safety for five investor-owned electric companies including Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light, Florida Public Utilities Company, Gulf Power Company and Tampa Electric Company. Those five serve more than 8.4 million residential, industrial, and commercial customers.
Prices will temporarily increase for Florida Power & Light customers, one of the state’s largest electricity providers. FPL has requested approval from PSC to increase electricity rates to recover costs from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole and is currently working through providing documentation of its cost reviews. These costs are projected to be over $1.3 billion and affect more than 2.5 million customers.
According to an August U.S. Energy Information Administration report, Florida’s electricity generation is from natural gas. The use of natural gas has grown from 31% in 2002 to 75% in 2022.
This is due to increased natural gas production throughout the U.S. and the expansion of the Southeast U.S. pipeline network, which has allowed Florida to purchase low-priced fuel after coal-fired generators were retired.
EIA data shows that Florida’s electricity prices remained relatively stable from 2017 to 2020 – priced at around 11 cents per kilowatt hour before dipping to a low of 9.6 cents per kWh in May 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The price has since rebounded, and 2023 has seen some of the most expensive rates in the past six years, hitting an all-time high of 15.93 cents per kWh in February 2023 for residential customers before dropping back slightly to 15.36 cents per kWh in June 2023. Florida’s rate, however, is still below the national average of 16.11 cents per kWh.
Compared to neighboring states according to EIA data, as of June 2023, Florida remains more expensive for residential customers. Alabama has a rate of 14.63 cents per kWh, Georgia is slightly lower at 14.62 cents per kWh, while Mississippi sits at 13.46 cents per kWh.