As expected, Gulf Power rate increase approved

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Gulf Power's rate increase compromise was approved Tuesday by the Florida Public Service Commission.

The rate hike will start July 1, 2017, and will see an average customer's bill go from $144 a month to $151 a month.

The compromise was in response to Gulf Power's petition to increase base rates in order to "continue to invest in the reliability of the energy grid and maintain a balanced energy mix, including 24/7 energy sources as well as renewables like wind and solar" according to a news release from Gulf Power.

The Office of Public Counsel , Florida Industrial Power Users Group and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) all signed off on the compromise.

Gulf Power had proposed a more dramatic increase that would have meant lower bills for people who used a lot of energy, while raising base rates on all customers, regardless of power consumption. That proposal was scrapped and the compromise drawn up in its place.

“This agreement is good for all involved, including Gulf Power’s customers,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power Chairman, President & CEO. “It supports our current infrastructure investment — which helps us continue to provide our customers in Northwest Florida with long-term, reliable power and a balanced energy mix.”

Final rates are still waiting to be finalized by the PSC, but that process should be done by May 31.