Progress Energy rates to drop 11%

Progress Energy bills will drop by 11 percent starting in April, after the Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved the utility's request to lower bills.

"We have a responsibility to keep electric service affordable for Florida's residents, while also making sure service is reliable," said Matthew Carter, the commission chairman, on Tuesday.

The decrease comes to about $15 for the first 1,000 kilowatt hours. For the average residential customer using 1,200 kilowatt hours a month, the savings will come to $18 a month.

"We worked hard to provide price relief for our customers during this unprecedented economic climate. We've listened to our customers and lowered our price to provide some short-term help," said Jeff Lyash, president and chief executive of Progress Energy.

Progress Energy, which serves more than 1.6 million customers in 35 counties in north and central Florida, increased bills by 24 percent starting in January to pay for its $17 billion nuclear plant and sharply higher 2008 fuel costs.

Since then, public outrage at the higher bills prompted the utility to decrease the nuclear charge, while lower fuel costs allowed it to decrease the fuel charge.

Asjylyn Loder can be reached at aloder@sptimes.com or (813) 225-3117.

Progress Energy rates to drop 11% 03/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 19, 2009 12:12pm]

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