SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ for the first month
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ for the first month

Duke Energy Florida decreases electric rates for 2021

Special to The Star

ST. PETERSBURG – Duke Energy Florida (DEF) customers will see lower bills in 2021. 

The company plans to decrease Florida residential rates by 2.8 percent while making grid improvements to enhance reliability, security and resilience in 2021 and beyond.  

The rate reflects an expected decrease in DEF’s storm cost recovery and fuel charges. 

Rates for 2021 will also reflect grid reliability investments to reduce the number and duration of outages, and DEF’s annual capacity, energy conservation, storm protection plan and environmental compliance clause costs. 

If approved, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see a decrease of $3.63 or 2.8 percent in their monthly bill beginning January 2021. Commercial and industrial customers will see bill impacts ranging from a 6.6 percent decrease to a 1.1 percent increase. 

However, the specific bill impact will vary depending on several factors. This decrease will be partially offset when rates are adjusted to include the investments in the Twin Rivers and Santa Fe solar plants as they come online in early 2021. 

“In 2021, Duke Energy Florida is bringing new services and technologies to our customers while lowering costs and keeping residential rates for electricity lower than the national average,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. “While our customers’ bills are decreasing, we know some of them continue to face financial hardships. We’re providing enhanced care and expanded assistance for those impacted by the pandemic.” 

Enhanced customer care 

Duke Energy Florida has been proactively working with customers who are accumulating past-due balances on their utility bills, offering payment plans to mitigate potentially more significant financial challenges in the future. 

The company will continue to provide assistance to residential and business customers whose accounts have fallen behind due to illness or lost wages. 

Support for these efforts include:  

Online tools so customers can directly choose an extended payment arrangement that meets their individual needs. Customers can make a six-month payment arrangement with zero down payment. We ask customers who need more time to contact us to discuss their specific situation and needs. 

Customers who need additional assistance can visit the Energy Neighbor Fund webpage to learn how community agencies can help pay energy bills. 

Professional guidance for small business customers to help analyze their energy usage, discuss energy rates and identify solutions to help lower their energy bills as they are reopening. 

To make it easier to pay, the company will continue waiving credit/debit card and walk-in payment fees for residential customers for an additional two months once billing and payment practices resume. These fees will resume in November.  

Customers who need financial assistance are encouraged to visit 211.org or call 211 to locate available resources. The free service can help customers find local community agencies that provide assistance to meet a wide range of needs, including medical expenses and health counseling, child and elder care, housing, food and other essentials and utility bills. 

Customers should download the company’s mobile app or visit duke-energy.com for information and most service transactions. Customers who are unable to self-serve can contact the customer contact center at 800.700.8744. 

Duke Energy’s customer service specialists are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist customers with customized payment plans that meet their specific situations.