Progress Energy told state utility regulators Monday that it is willing to wait until the Public Service Commission decides on the company's rate increase rather than take the temporary boost in rates it is allowed under state law.
Progress Energy is entitled to have its proposed $500 million increase in base rates take effect on Jan. 1 and then, if the PSC approves a lower rate, refund the difference to customers with interest. Progress is seeking to raise rates 31 percent, or $9.66 per 1,000 kilowatt hour of electricity used, and the PSC is scheduled to vote on it Jan. 28.
If the PSC agrees to delay the rate change, electric bills will remain "relatively flat temporarily giving our customers some short-term price relief during this down economy,'' said Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida.
The PSC last week voted to delay its decision on both Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light's rate increase request until January when two new commissioners appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist will be in office.