Pensacola – Gulf Power raising electric rates for Northwest Florida
Gulf Power [http://www.gulfpower.com/], the utility company that provides electricity to most of Northwest Florida, recently received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to increase their base rates. The cost of using 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity is now $126.53, a 3.1% increase from what was charged for that quantity of electricity in July of last year. This increase is one of few victories for Gulf Power of late, after a 101.6 million dollar budget plan, which included plans for a new nuclear power plant. While it is a victory for Gulf Power, it is definitely pinching the pockets of Pensacola residents and others who live in Northwest Florida.
While price increases due to such factors as rising fuel prices or new environmental regulations are not uncommon, base rate hikes are quite infrequent. The base rate covers day-to-day costs of maintaining the infrastructure necessary to deliver power: the wires, the poles, the transformers, the bucket trucks, and so forth. According to a statement by Gulf Power’s Manager of Public Affairs, such costs have risen by up to 250% since the last base rate increase.
Thankfully, price increases aren’t a constant trend. There have already been two price decreases in this year, a $1.36 per-month decrease in January and a $3.34 per-month decrease just last month.