Duke Energy Florida (DEF) filed a mid-year adjustment for electric rates with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC).

DEF also filed to increase the Asset Securitization Charge (ASC).

DEF estimates residential customers’ rates will increase $5.99 or about 5 percent for a total cost of $123.23 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This increase includes an adjustment for fuel costs and $1.14 for ASC.

The company makes no profit from the fuel or ASC component of rates.

If the proposed changes are approved, the increase will begin with the July 2017 billing cycle. Residential customer rates will still remain 3 percent less than at the start of the decade.

Commercial and industrial customers would see similar rate changes resulting in a 5 to 7 percent increase for commercial customers and a 6 to 9 percent increase for industrial customers.

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

The proposed increase is due mainly to higher fuel prices for natural gas and coal. Duke Energy Florida works to actively manage its fuel contracts and keep costs as low as possible for customers. Fuel costs for 2016 and 2017 were higher than projected. Rather than continuing to under-collect for the remainder of 2017 and accumulate a larger true-up in 2018, the company is providing customers with a timely and more immediate rate correction.

“Safe, reliable, clean energy at a fair price is important to all of our customers,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president – Florida. “Through cost management and careful planning, Duke Energy Florida has made thoughtful investments to significantly enhance service reliability and reduce emissions while keeping rates lower than the current state and national averages. We will continue to work hard to provide the best possible price for our customers.”

The change in the ASC for residential customers in the July billing cycle will be an increase from $2.45 to $3.59 per 1,000 kWh. While the total dollars collected in rates through the ASC remain relatively constant, customer rates can change, at least twice a year, due to fluctuations in sales. The required formula-based true-up process adjusts for the difference between the estimated and actual amounts collected.

Managing energy costs

During the summer months, Florida’s rising temperatures can cause a seasonal spike in customers’ electric bills. Duke Energy Florida urges customers to take control of their energy use by making simple, energy-efficient changes in their homes.

Duke Energy Florida offers free Home Energy Checks to help customers identify how they can reduce their electric use and save money. Through this service, which can be performed online, over the phone or in person, the company’s energy advisors provide energy-saving recommendations and determine customers’ eligibility for company rebates toward energy-efficient improvements.