Do you find yourself scratching your head and wondering why your energy bill is getting higher and higher each month? You’re not alone. Increased energy bills are a common concern for Florida homeowners and business owners alike.
Rising energy bills can cause a lot of stress, and understanding why your bills are increasing (and how to avoid continuous price hikes) can help alleviate that stress.
Learn why your energy bill might be getting higher and find out how to reduce your energy costs.
Recently Raised Rates in Florida
One of the leading causes of increasing energy bills in Florida is raised rates by power utility companies. This past April, the Florida Public Commission (PSC) approved mid-course corrections for energy utility companies in Florida, giving them the go-ahead to increase rates further for consumers. The first of these increases for 2023 went into effect in January, with an 11% and 13% rate increase for TECO and Duke Energy Florida, respectively. Electricity bills then saw another jump in April of about 20%.
This is the second consecutive year Florida utility companies met with the PSC for a mid-course correction. Everyone is now paying energy bills far higher than even just a year ago.
The harsh truth is that rates are increasing, and they appear to be continuing to do so. A rate hike can also result from inflation and rising costs of power plants’ maintenance.
Rising Cost of Natural Gas
The main factor for higher electricity costs is the rising cost of natural gas, the primary source of power for Florida utility companies. Like crude oil, this commodity is traded on a global market, meaning price fluctuations can impact local power rates. Natural gas prices have nearly tripled since 2020, and utility companies are passing that increase down to consumers so they’re not left with the bill.
Net fuel costs for power utility companies aren’t the only driver behind newly raised rates. Natural disasters like hurricanes can also impact your energy bills. Utility companies often need to make costly repairs to get power back on in affected communities, which is one of the reasons Duke cited when requesting a mid-year rate increase from the PSC. Last year, several areas of Florida were severely impacted by hurricanes Nicole and Ian, and storm restoration costs can get high quickly. It’s just one more cost power companies pass on to their customers, so they’re not scrambling to pay the additional costs on their own.
If you’ve noticed drastically higher energy bills over the past few months as spring turned into summer, the changing weather is likely also a factor contributing to your increasing bills. Florida’s hot and humid summers make it harder for your home to stay cool. As the temperature rises outside, we turn up the air conditioning inside, which can increase energy usage.
In 2023, the heat in the US has broken many records. Due in part to climate change, temperatures in Florida and around the world are higher than ever before, seeing record daily and weekly highs. Your AC system is putting in more effort than ever before to maintain standard indoor temperatures, so you’re likely using more energy than even in summers past. Combined with recent rate increases, this can add up to suddenly skyrocketing bills.
Inadequate insulation in your home or business can also cause an increase in your energy bill. If your AC is running perpetually without cooling your property, you may have air leaks that need fixing. Adding new insulation, weatherstripping, or installing draft seals can help in such cases. Other tips to help keep the cool air in include keeping blinds or curtains closed to limit heat and sun exposure inside.
Escape Continuously Increasing Energy Bills with Solar
Together, all of these factors have made energy bills higher. However, they don’t have to be a burden on you forever. By switching from relying on a local energy provider to generating and using your own clean, renewable solar energy, you can break free from continuous rate increases due to inflation, rising natural gas costs, and more. Minimize your electricity bills with a grid-tied rooftop system or eliminate them altogether with an off-grid system.
Are you ready to say goodbye to high electricity bills and reclaim your energy independence with solar? Contact the experts at Tampa Bay Solar to begin the process with a free energy audit. We’re here to help.