Gulf Power filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission seeking approval to pass along approximately $103 million in tax savings to its 460,000 customers. If approved by the FPSC, the average Gulf Power customer using 1,112 kilowatt-hours per month can expect to see a $14 drop on their monthly electricity bill for 2018 — the largest decrease in company history. More than $30 million in savings for customers will continue into 2019 and beyond if approved by the FPSC.
The tax savings are the result of federal tax reductions under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. The decrease in the Corporate Tax Rate from 35 percent to 21 percent reduces the amount of federal income tax Gulf Power will have to pay and allows the energy provider to pass that savings along to customers.
“This is very good news for customers,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO. “Reduced tax costs create an opportunity for Gulf Power customers to benefit from decreases in their energy prices. We are glad this allows us to quickly lower rates for our customers — in fact, this is the seventh time in 10 years we’ve decreased prices. If the Florida Public Service Commission approves this agreement, customers should see the savings beginning in their April bills.”
Gulf Power worked together to reach a settlement with the Office of Public Council, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to agree on how to deliver these savings to customers as soon as possible. J.R. Kelly, the Public Counsel, and Jon Moyle, counsel for the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, both applauded Gulf Power for acting quickly to provide customers with rate relief resulting from the federal tax reform legislation. Kelly and Moyle said that it’s important for Gulf Power’s customers and their clients to see real rate relief sooner rather than later, and they believe that this agreement, if approved by the Commission, will achieve that goal.
This decrease comes on the heels of record power consumption by Gulf Power customers due to prolonged extremely cold temperatures in January. The energy provider is working aggressively to make sure customers start receiving the savings as soon as possible.
“This price reduction will provide relief for many who had higher bills due to January’s frigid temps,” said Connally. “With 21 days in the 30s and below, our customers used a lot electricity — in fact on Jan. 18, customers set a record new high energy peak, surpassing the last high by 100 megawatts.”
While Gulf Power will pass along the tax savings to customers across Northwest Florida, the company will continue to invest in the energy grid to maintain the safe, reliable and affordable service customers have come to expect.
“We’re excited to pass along these savings to our customers, while continuing to make smart investments in our energy grid to continue the high reliability our customers have come to expect,” said Connally.