Several of north central Florida’s utility companies are lowering their rates to accommodate customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gainesville Regional Utilities lowered its customer fuel charges once in February and then again in April. These reductions will last until September and will help customers save 17 percent over the coming months, according to its website.
Gainesville resident Anna Keefe, a GRU customer since 2016, said the reduction in her bill could have just been a decrease in her household’s usage.
“Our bill was only $10 less compared to last month,” she said.
Central Florida Electric Cooperative (CFEC), which services Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties, announced on its website April 29, that it will lower the Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment (WPCA) by 17 percent during May.
The WPCA determines how much customers are charged when the price of the fuel that generates electricity fluctuates. Households that use the industry average of 1,000 kWh of power will pay $21 less this month.
In February, Levy County resident Joe Markham II and his wife invested $53,000 in seven pieces of property to clean up and sell for a profit. Several weeks later, the economy took a downturn and Markham was not able to sell any of the properties.
“Now we have to watch every penny until we can start selling and get that first piece sold,” Markham said.
Markham has been a customer of CFEC since 1989, and his father worked there as a lineman for 46 years.
Markham said he agrees with the rates, as long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on the company’s employees.
Ocala Electric Utility lowered its Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), which is how utility costs are passed on to the customer, according to a post on its Facebook page. As a result, it was able to lower utility costs by 12 percent for both May and June.
Each of these companies has also suspended utility disconnections for some time to help alleviate financial stress for their customers.
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