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Inflated Gas Prices Increase Homeowners' Financial Burdens

Katie Jensen
Dec 20, 2021

Homeowners bills are increasing and it’s not just because mortgage rates have been inching up since early autumn.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Since January of 2021, natural gas prices have increased nearly 45% and remain volatile due to unique events that drove up prices and caused supply uncertainty.
  • Duke Energy Florida proposed a fuel adjustment that would reduce the financial burden on customers.
  • A long recovery will reduce the monthly bill impact by 1%, at least for the typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh.
  • Duke Energy Florida's innovative Rate Mitigation Plan will remain in place and continue to help customers by spreading the recovery of approximately $247 million of unrecovered fuel costs over two years.

Homeowners bills are increasing and it’s not just because mortgage rates have been inching up since early autumn. Instead, homeowners can thank volatile natural gas prices for their hefty bills.

Luckily, recovery is on the way now that Duke Energy Florida proposed a fuel adjustment that would reduce the financial burden on customers. The company uses natural gas as its main fuel source to generate electricity at most of its power plants.

Since January of 2021, natural gas prices have increased nearly 45% and remain volatile due to unique events that drove up prices and caused supply uncertainty. This impacted not only utility companies but other industries that rely on natural gas as well. 

Rather than recover the increased fuel cost over a 10-month period in 2022, Duke Energy has decided to spread recovery over a longer period, beginning in March 2022 and ending no earlier than February 2023. 

Recovering over a longer period of time will reduce the monthly bill impact by 1%, at least for the typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh. A typical consumer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will see an increase of $6.62 in the customer's monthly bill, on average, for 2022.

Commercial and industrial customers will see bill impacts ranging from a 4% to a 10% increase. 

"We want to help our customers who may already be struggling to pay their current energy bills," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "We are working hard to minimize the impact and provide customers the opportunity to better manage their energy usage and reduce their bills. In addition, we are managing our fuel and generation resources in the most cost-effective manner for our customers, and our rate mitigation plan will continue to reduce some of the price pressure on customers."

Duke Energy Florida's innovative Rate Mitigation Plan will remain in place and continue to help customers by spreading the recovery of approximately $247 million of unrecovered fuel costs over two years – 2022 and 2023 – while forgoing the immediate recovery cost of storm damage, among other actions. Customers will also continue to benefit from the savings, which is estimated to reduce the average customers' bills by up to $4.67 monthly on average.

Other energy-saving programs, tips and guidance to help you manage higher energy bills that can result from increased energy are available at Duke-Energy.com/Winter. 

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