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Gulf Power Company to reduce expense to be recovered from ratepayers

Staff Writer | April 5, 2017
Assured that Gulf Power Company customers will have reliable service, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a settlement agreement on the utility’s rate petition.
Gulf Power Company
Florida   Gulf and Georgia Power
The settlement was signed by Gulf; the Office of Public Counsel, who represents all ratepayers; the Florida Industrial Power Users Group; and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. No other party to the case objected.

In the settlement, Gulf agreed to a one-time $32.5 million write-down of its ownership costs for Plant Scherer, reducing the expense to be recovered from ratepayers.

The plant is jointly owned by Gulf and its sister company, Georgia Power; both utilities are Southern Company subsidiaries. Gulf also agreed to continue a moratorium on financial hedging for natural gas purchases until January 2021.

Gulf had originally requested additional revenues of $106 million and a return on equity of 11 percent.

The settlement provides Gulf with recovery of an additional $62 million in revenues and maintains its return on equity at the current 10.25 percent. New customer rates will take effect on July 1, 2017.

A five-year pilot program for electric vehicle charging facilities is allowed in the settlement.

Program costs and revenues will be included in Gulf’s quarterly surveillance reports to the PSC, but will not impact customers’ bills.

Gulf filed its petition for a base rate increase with the PSC on October 12, 2016.

The PSC held customer service hearings on January 26, 2017 in Pensacola and on January 27, 2017 in Panama City.

Gulf currently provides electric service to more than 450,000 retail customers in eight Florida counties.