Gulf Power today announced its plan to significantly lower bills for customers amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Subject to Florida Public Service Commission approval, beginning May 1, Gulf Power plans to issue a one-time decrease of approximately 40% for the typical residential customer bill as a result of lower fuel costs.
“At Gulf Power, we understand how critical it is – particularly at a time like now – for you to have the reliable service that you count on, each and every day. We also understand that, at this moment, savings on your bill can be especially valuable,” said Gulf Power President Marlene Santos. “While traditionally these types of savings are spread out, we know that many people in our communities are struggling right now and every penny counts. We want to do what we can to keep as much money as possible in our customers’ pockets, and we believe this is the best way to provide customers with much-needed money as we all navigate through this difficult and unsettling time together.”
In Florida, fuel savings are typically refunded to customers over the remainder of the year to provide level, predictable bills. However, given the emergent and significant financial challenges facing many customers due to COVID-19, Gulf Power will instead seek to give customers the total annual savings in their May bill. Business customers will also see a significant one-time decrease in May, depending on usage and rate class.
Responding to COVID-19 pandemic
Gulf Power has a pandemic plan in place and regularly trains and drills for unplanned events and crises. The company understands the critical role electricity plays in the economy and daily lives of Northwest Florida residents, and Gulf Power remains steadfastly committed to continuously delivering the reliable energy that our communities rely on.
For customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, Gulf Power has resources available at GulfPower.com/Help, or the company can connect customers with resources available from federal, state and local authorities. To further assist customers, Gulf Power is also implementing the same policies that it does during major crises events, including suspending electrical disconnections and providing payment extensions for customers in a hardship situation. These policies will remain in effect while Florida is under a state of emergency.
The Gulf Power Foundation has committed $500,000 to local United Way organizations serving Northwest Florida to help members of our communities impacted by COVID-19. In total, Gulf Power and its fellow NextEra Energy companies and employees have so far committed nearly $2.75 million in COVID-19 emergency assistance funds that will be distributed directly to those in need and to partner organizations working on the frontlines of the crisis to provide critical support to the most vulnerable members of the community.