The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a joint Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (Agreement) for Gulf Power Company’s (Gulf) base rate petition. After questioning all parties and PSC staff, Commissioners agreed that the Agreement terms, set through July 1, 2017, were in the best interest of Gulf customers.
Signed by the Office of Public Counsel (OPC), representing all customers, and other parties to the case, the Agreement reduces Gulf’s requested base rate increase from $90.8 million to $55 million and maintains its current Return on Equity (ROE) at 10.25 percent, instead of Gulf’s requested 11.5 percent ROE.
To reduce customer bill impacts, the base rate increase will be tiered over two years, with a $35 million increase effective in January 2014 and an increase of $20 million in January 2015. Residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see an estimated monthly bill increase of $4.06 in January 2014 and a $2.42 monthly adjustment in January 2015.
“We are pleased that all parties reached an equitable Agreement that reduces the rate impact on all customer classes and still meets Gulf’s responsibility to provide quality service,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “Going into the new year, customers will benefit from the Agreement’s tiered adjustments that maintain rate stability through July 1, 2017.”
Gulf also will add three new economic development riders to be implemented on a 3-year pilot basis for small, medium, and large businesses. Fifteen transmission projects scheduled for commercial service were also acknowledged in the Agreement as reasonable and prudent. Parties to the Agreement include Gulf, OPC, Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Federal Executive Agencies, Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, and Sam’s East, Inc.
Gulf filed its base rate increase petition with the PSC on July 12, 2013. The Commission held customer service hearings in Gulf’s service territory in September to hear from the utility’s customers. Gulf provides electric service to more than 438,000 customers in 8 Northwest Florida counties.
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