ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Nov. 22, 2011) Today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Progress Energy Florida's 2012 fuel costs - the final element of the total 2012 price. The overall price for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will be $123.19 beginning with January 2012 billing. This change comes after two years of bill reductions and represents a 3 percent increase compared to $119.34 per 1,000 kWh per month currently charged.
The average commercial customer bill will increase 3 to 4 percent, and the average industrial customer bill will increase 4 to 5 percent. New prices will take effect with the first billing cycle in January 2012.
"The 2012 price reflects our prior decision to reduce short-term spending on the proposed Levy County nuclear project and is offset by an increase in fuel costs due to the unavailability of the Crystal River Nuclear Plant," said Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. "We remain committed to return the Crystal River Nuclear Plant to service, as it is our lowest-cost generation unit and provides carbon-free electricity to the more than 1.6 million families and businesses that depend on us."
Below is a summary of the approved clauses, based on a monthly, 1,000-kWh residential bill:
Previously, the PSC approved a nearly 50 percent reduction to the new nuclear generation charge, a slight reduction to the energy conservation charge and a modest increase to the environmental compliance charges.
The company's environmental compliance charges recover the costs of environmental investments required by state and federal law. Environmental improvements at our two largest coal-fired units, Crystal River 4 and 5, now allow the company to use lower-cost coal while reducing the plant's average annual emissions by 80 percent (nitrogen oxides by approximately 93 percent and sulfur dioxide by approximately 97 percent).
The largest portion of the 3 percent increase is the fuel charge, which recovers the actual cost of fuel, mainly natural gas and coal, used to generate electricity. Due to the extended outage at the company's Crystal River Nuclear Plant, Progress Energy Florida is using more natural gas, which is the lowest-possible-cost resource next to nuclear, to meet customer needs. In 2012, residential customers will pay about 6 cents more per 1,000-kWh for fuel due to the extended outage. The company makes no profit from the fuel portion of the customer bill. Progress Energy also received an increase to its purchased power charge in order to lock agreements for more natural gas-fired purchased power at today's very low natural gas prices. Utilities routinely purchase power to ensure customers's energy needs are met in the most cost-effective manner possible.
The base rate portion of the customer bill will remain stable through 2012 following a 2010 agreement Progress Energy pursued with consumer advocate groups, the Florida Attorney General and the Office of Public Counsel.
For more information about Florida rates and a detailed breakdown of a current residential customer bill, visit http://www.progress-energy.com/floridarates.
Progress Energy encourages customers to learn all they can about using energy wisely to save energy and money. Customers can save up to 20 percent on their energy costs by making changes at home. Adjusting the thermostat two or three degrees warmer in summer and cooler in winter, turning off computers, monitors and game systems when not in use, regularly changing air filters, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact-fluorescent bulbs, and sealing windows and doors can result in significant savings. For more energy-efficiency tips, as well as details about Progress Energy programs and incentives, visit http://www.progress-energy.com/save.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit http://www.progress-energy.com.
Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line, 866.520.6397
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