Duke Energy Florida continues to connect customers to financial assistance as fuel costs impact 2023 rates

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Florida — Rising fuel prices are driving up costs to provide service to Duke Energy Florida customers in January 2023.

“We understand our customers continue facing increased financial demands in all parts of their lives,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We’re connecting customers to available assistance and providing energy-saving tools and programs to help manage their bills and lessen the impact. Please reach out to us. We’re here to help.”

The company works diligently to reduce costs while ensuring safe, reliable, cleaner energy 24/7 to meet our customers’ growing needs. Through cost management and careful planning, Duke Energy Florida has made thoughtful investments to significantly enhance service reliability and reduce emissions while lowering rates for our customers. Our goal is to provide the best possible price for our customers.

Duke Energy Florida does not profit from these increased fuel costs, and the company proactively takes measures to insulate customers from volatility. Through past efforts such as 2021’s Rate Mitigation Plan, Duke Energy Florida sought to lessen the impact to customers from the fuel price increases. These costs are market-driven and passed through to customers with no markup.

Since the beginning of the year, natural gas prices have more than doubled, driven by increased domestic demand, flat natural gas production, strong LNG exports to Europe and Asia, and low natural gas storage inventories. The natural gas market has not stabilized and continues to be extremely volatile.

Today’s filing is the result of unprecedented fuel cost increases. Due to the historic rise in the cost of fuel, the company is projecting higher fuel costs in 2023 and is under-recovered in 2022. Under-recovery means the actual cost of fuel is higher than the cost customers are paying.

Under these extraordinary circumstances, at this time Duke Energy Florida proposes to delay filing for the 2022 under-recovered fuel costs in the 2023 rates in the event, the market will stabilize as the year progresses. The company will continue to monitor the market and its impact to determine the appropriate time to file the under-recovered fuel costs.

Beginning January 2023, a typical residential customer’s monthly bill using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see an approximate 13% increase. This rate change includes the projected fuel prices for 2023 but excludes the under-recovered fuel costs from 2022.

Duke Energy Florida will continue to look for creative solutions to provide relief and focus our efforts to deliver the best possible service for our customers.

Manage energy usage, billing

Duke Energy continues to support customers, connect them with available assistance, and offer tools and programs – including flexible payment plans – to help manage electric bills.

Budget Billing

Duke Energy’s Budget Billing option lets customers pay one predictable amount every month to better manage their budget. The amount is periodically reviewed and adjusted. Learn more about Budget Billing here.

Pick Your Due Date

With Pick Your Due Date, customers can choose the date they want their Duke Energy bill to be due each month. Pick Your Due Date can give customers even more control over their energy bills. Learn more.

Track, manage energy usage

Energy use can spike during the summer and winter since air conditioning and heating are the biggest energy users in your home. Customers can easily track and adjust their usage when temperatures are most extreme.

Smart meters provide customers with daily and hourly usage information to help them better understand their energy use and take steps to save energy and money. Video here.

Duke Energy customers with smart meters also receive usage alerts through email and/or text halfway through their billing cycle, well before their bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be.

Customers can also set budget alerts, so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to adjust their usage and help save money on their bill.

Other energy-saving programs, tips and guidance to help you manage higher energy bills that can result from increased energy are available at Duke-Energy.com/heretohelp.

Assistance programs

LIHEAP

This income-based program allows those earning below certain thresholds to qualify for federal energy bill assistance money through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The qualifying income thresholds are based on factors that include household income and the number of people living in a home. To learn how to qualify and apply for LIHEAP funds, visit: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Assistance agency funds

Some customers may also qualify for assistance from various government and nonprofit programs for utility bills and other household expenses. 211.org is a free service to help customers find local community agencies that can help meet a wide range of needs, including utility bills, housing, food and other essentials, child and elder care, medical expenses and health counseling. To learn about agencies that serve your area, dial 211, visit 211.org online or text your ZIP code to 898211 for information on where to get help.

In addition, Duke Energy Florida customers can learn more about how community agencies can help by visiting our website. Resources are also available here for small business customers, from billing and payment options to professional guidance to manage their energy usage.

Installment plans

Installment plans give customers more flexibility to pay a past-due balance over a longer period. Customers can request a few extra days or restructure the past-due balance into a monthly payment plan. Customers should contact Duke Energy to discuss options available to them: 800.700.8744.

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