TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The state of Florida has multiple power companies and multiple types of them.
The main utility types are investor-owned and cooperative. The four main investor-owned power companies are Florida Power & Light, Tampa Electric Company, Duke Energy Florida, and the Florida Public Utilities Company.
The average household in the United States uses 886 kilowatts per hour each month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Florida ranks as the sixth lowest region for residential power use in the country, according to the EIA, and seventh lowest overall.
However, compared to other states, Florida ranks No. 30 for overall energy production and No. 50 for expenditures per capita. According to EnergySage, a company which studies power use and production methods, Florida consumers paid about 31% more power than the national average in 2022.
While the national average use of power, according to the EIA, is 886 kWh per month, EnergySage reported Florida used 1,766 kWh per month. The company reported that Floridians’ average monthly bill, statewide, for residential electric was about $254 in 2022.
So, with Florida power more expensive than 20 states and the District of Columbia, which power company has the highest monthly cost?
According to data published by the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tampa Electric customers paid the highest customer charges in September 2022, the most recent month available from FMEA’s publications. The listed customer charge for TECO was $21.30, while the next highest was $16.98 for the City of Winter Park, which provides its own power to residents.
However, the highest total cost per month for the 1,000 kWh listing in Florida was for Florida Power & Light’s Northwest customers, who were serviced by Gulf Power Company before its merger with FPL in January 2022. The FPL Northwest customers have a $160.71 bill for 1,000 kWh used, including the franchise or transfer fees, and storm hardening fees.
Duke Energy Florida and TECO customers pay $152.19 and $137.10, respectively, on average for the same 1,000 kWh usage per month, when accounting for the franchise or transfer fees and storm hardening costs. FMEA said the average franchise fee is 6%, statewide.
For power companies not operated by municipalities, the monthly average cost was $144.49. Those companies are what are known as investor-owned utilities, and include Duke Energy Florida, TECO, FPL and the Florida Public Utilities Company, which is owned by Chesapeake Utilities Corporation in North Carolina. For IOUs, FMEA reported the average cost in August was $139.23.
A series of already-approved rate hikes for residential and commercial power customers are also slated for January 2023. In addition to those, which were approved to cover increased costs of natural gas to burn for power at company plants, the companies will also be requesting cost recoveries for their storm protection plans.
In a final set of rate adjustment requests, FPL, TECO and Duke will each be requesting the right to charge more for storm recovery from Hurricane Ian.
According to their third quarter earnings calls, TECO is requesting roughly $453 million for Hurricane Ian recovery, FPL plans to request $1.1 billion, and Duke Energy Florida plans to request between $425-$500 million.
On Nov. 17, the four investor-owned utilities will appear before the Florida Public Service Commission for a vote on cost recovery for their storm protection plans, a separate rate adjustment hearing than the fuel utility costs or storm damage recovery requests.