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Florida Power and Light (FPL) customers will get a small break on their power bills beginning in May due to natural gas prices being lower this year than projected.

Last month, the Florida Public Services Commission approved a reduction in customers’ bills starting in May. The plan was aimed at partially offsetting bill increases that started in April.

“The transition from Gulf Power to FPL has been a bit bumpy, we’ve had some ups and downs,†J.T. Young, a Chipley native and Vice President and General Manager of FPL Northwest Florida, said at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce April luncheon. 

FPL customers have experienced an increase in their bills since Gulf Power and FPL merged at the beginning of 2021 while people nationwide have weathered a hike in utility bills over the past two years along with inflation. 

Young said the cost of natural gas used to fuel power plants that is passed on to customers is exactly what FPL pays. 

“We don’t earn money on that,†Young said. “If it costs us a dollar to buy natural gas, we charge our customers a dollar. We don’t charge $1.10 or $1.15.â€

According to the Public Service Commission, Northwest Florida customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see their bills decrease from $163.30 to $158.86. Increases that took effect in April were due to hurricane events and last year’s projection of natural gas prices. 

Young said they cannot predict the future of what natural gas prices will do to future power rates, but it is good news that bills are finally reflecting a decrease since FPL’s acquisition of Gulf Power.

Young’s talk at the luncheon was tailored for the Washington County business community. He praised Gulf Power’s initiatives to help business customers save money through the energy checkup, business savings tool, onsite energy surveys, upgrades for lighting and budget billing. 

“Budget billing for small business customers is something that could be very helpful; it helps you with predictability on bills,†he said. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re doing things of value that will help you in turn pass that value on to folks that you serve.†