St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement urging AARP members and other consumers in the Panhandle to raise their voices on a proposed $106.8 million Gulf Power Co. rate increase.
"AARP believes this proposed rate increase asks too much of residential ratepayers,” Johnson said. The Gulf Power proposal would increase the fixed charge portion of bill, he noted, which is the amount that ratepayers pay regardless of whether they use any electricity.
“That fixed charge would go from $18 per month to $48 per month. Gulf Power already has the highest fixed charge of any major utility in the state,” Johnson said. “A 155 percent increase to the monthly customer charge is outrageous. It gives customers less control over their electricity spending by making more of the bill fixed.”
“If approved, this rate increase would give Gulf Power a rate of return of 11 percent, which is out of line with what other utilities receive around the nation. AARP hopes the Florida Public Service Commission will consider the impact of this rate increase on consumers of all ages, but especially on older, rural consumers who can only dream of getting this kind of return on their hard-won savings, if any.”
Ratepayers can write or email the Public Service Commission until March 15 to express their viewpoints on the rate increase.. To weigh in on the Gulf Power rate increase, Gulf Power ratepayers can submit their testimony in one of two ways:
- email your testimony to the Public Service Commission Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org
- mail a paper copy of your testimony to:
Ms. Carlotta Stauffer
Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850
Be sure to include: a) your first and last name; b) address where you receive Gulf Power service; and c) the docket number 160186 on your testimony so that it can be included for consideration.
Johnson urged Panhandle consumers to consider attending the Public Service Commission hearing on the Gulf Power Co. rate request in Tallahassee March 20-24 or watch live on the Florida Channel.