In a settlement filed this morning, Gulf Power has withdrawn its proposed fixed charge hike, which would have cost consumers nearly $50 every month, regardless of how much power they used.
According to the company, the removal of this increase means that consumers will retain their ability to control their monthly power bills through measures such as energy efficiency and rooftop solar.
Gulf Power says this settlement is a win for consumer freedom and shows the importance of consumers speaking up against monopoly power companies. Leading up to the settlement, Gulf Power heard from over 1,000 customers, both at public hearings held in Panama City and Pensacola and via written comments filed with the Florida Public Service Commission. Their message was loud and clear – raising the fixed charge would have created an unfair burden to consumers already working hard to be thrifty with their energy use and would have especially hurt families on low and fixed incomes.
“We are glad that the fixed charge increase has been removed from Gulf Power’s rate restructuring,” says Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice and Florida director of conservatives for Energy Freedom.
“This removal is a commonsense decision, meaning customers will now retain their freedom to manage their own power use regardless of whether that means being smart with their electricity use every month or investing in rooftop solar,” she continues. “Consumer choice is a staple of Florida’s economy, and this fixed charge hike would have been a step in the wrong direction.”