KISSIMMEE, Fla., May 4, 11:30 a.m. – The Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) board of directors today authorized an electric rate change be sent to the Florida Public Service Commission for review. A public hearing on the rate change will be held at 8 a.m. on June 1.
The purpose of the rate change is threefold: replenish the utility’s self-insurance fund, build its rate stabilization fund and sustain rapid system growth.
If approved, a 4.8 percent increase would be applied equally to all customer rate classes beginning July 1. The new rate would increase a monthly residential customer bill of 1,000 kilowatt-hours by $4.28.
The rate change will help the utility recover a portion of the $9.7 million spent to mobilize linemen and tree trimmers to restore power following hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state of Florida are expected to reimburse only a portion of the total cost. Given the magnitude of last year’s hurricane season, the rate change will allow the utility to increase its self-insurance fund for recovery from future disasters.
A portion of the rate change will also help build KUA’s rate stabilization fund, a fund intended to mitigate revenues in mild weather years.
“We certainly understand that any increase will impact our customers,” said KUA chairman Nancy Gemskie. “Restoring these reserve funds and preparing for the future is the prudent thing to do.”
The proposed rate change would be the first base rate change since a 1.65 percent increase in 2001.
Since 1991, the number of electric customers served by KUA has grown 60 percent. Even with the proposed increase, customers will still be paying a base rate that is seven percent lower than in 1991.
Founded in 1901, KUA – www.kua.com – is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric, water and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116