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Duke Energy Florida to cut electricity rates starting in April

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

With falling natural gas prices, Duke Energy Florida announced it will cut monthly residential electricity rates $5.83 for a typical 1,000 kilowatt-hour customer beginning with its April billing cycle.

The utility submitted its plan to the Florida Public Service Commission and is expected to be approved, reports LobbyTools.

Duke uses natural gas to generate most of the electricity t sells to its Florida customers. With the reduction, an average customer will pay $108.32 a month for 1,000-kilowatt-hours of power.

In a news release, Duke said customers in April will be paying 21 percent less for electricity than what they did January 2009. The savings equals about $30 a month, Duke officials said.

LobbyTools also noted that Duke had won approval from regulators in November to issue $1.3 billion in bonds for 2016 to cover costs of mothballing the Crystal River nuclear power plant in Citrus County.

If Duke financed closing the Crystal River plant itself, it would have led to higher finance charges than with a bond issue, which could save customers as much as $600 million, the company contends.

Duke says it does not profit from fuel-cost charges. The utility provides electricity to about 1.7 million Florida consumers, including most of Pinellas County.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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