High Natural Gas Prices Impact Cost of Electricity

High energy costs are impacting everyone, including utilities. Beaches Energy customers will see an increase in their utility bills in July because of the sustained high price of natural gas. Historically, natural gas prices have been stable and predictable. Recently however, fuel prices have more than doubled.

Because of these challenges, we will need to increase the Bulk Power Cost Adjustment (BPCA) on your utility bill. Your July utility bill will reflect an increase in the BPCA from $0.02184/kilowatt hour to $0.04125/kilowatt hour. For an average home using 1,000 kilowatt hours, this change will increase the monthly bill by about $20.  

It’s important to know:

  • The BPCA fuel charge does not generate additional funds to Beaches Energy. All funds are used to pay for the actual cost of the fuel utilized to produce electricity.  
  • This is the first time since 2008 the city has needed to increase the bulk power charge.
  • Even with this current increase, Beaches Energy residential rates will remain below the state average. 

Please know that we are working hard to manage our costs and strive to provide affordable, reliable and clean power. We are working with the Florida Municipal Power Agency to optimize our power plants and operations to keep costs as low as possible. This includes paying for natural gas at discounted rates (hedging) and selling excess power generation to other cities.

We also offer assistance to help customers identify ways to reduce their monthly electric usage and financial burden with:

  • Free online energy audit - Click here to complete a personalized analysis of your energy and water consumption and waste, with tips on how to save.
  • Energy-saving rebates – Learn how to save hundreds in rebates for residential upgrades that improve your home's energy efficiency at BeachesEnergy.com/Rebates.
  • Financial assistance – For customers experiencing financial hardship and difficulty paying their utility bill, call 904-247-6241 to discuss options and available aid.
  • Free home energy audits – Call 904-247-6241 to schedule an expert to visit your home to identify ways to save energy.

Electric Price for 1,000 Kilowatt-Hours

Rate Component

June

July

Residential Base Charge

$4.50

$4.50

KWH base charge

$83.57

$83.57

Bulk Power Cost Adjustment

$21.84

$41.25

Total Rate Billed per 1,000 kwh

$109.91

$129.32

FAQ

Due to the continuing rise of natural gas prices, customers of Beaches Energy Services will see an increase in the bulk power cost adjustment (BPCA) portion of their electric utility bills beginning in July. The BPCA does not generate additional funds to the City, but is a direct pass-through expense or refund to our customers. As natural gas prices declined steadily from 2010 to 2021, Beaches Energy passed those savings along to our customers in the form of BPCA reductions. Even with this current increase, Beaches Energy residential rates will remain competitive statewide.

Historically, the price of natural gas has been stable and predictable. However, the lack of natural gas exploration and refining capacity in the United States, increased demand, and other geo-political events are now driving the prices higher. Currently, the price of natural gas is more than double what is normal for this time of year, and these higher prices are projected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Natural gas is not to be confused with gasoline, which is used to power automobiles. Crude oil is used to manufacture gas and diesel. Natural gas is the fuel used to generate most of the electricity in Florida.

Beaches Energy recognizes that higher electric bills will be a burden to our customers. We never like having to increase the price customers pay for electricity, and we understand that it’s especially painful during difficult economic times.  However, the increase in fuel prices that we are experiencing is extraordinary. This is not unique to Beaches Energy; utilities across the country are experiencing this same issue.

The answer to the energy crisis for all of us is energy conservation. Everyone can do their part. It is a matter of supply and demand. As demand for electricity increases and fuel costs increase, rates will more than likely increase.

We encourage our customers to conserve. Through conservation, you can lower your bill and it helps the environment. We offer free energy audits with our Conservation Specialists and we have convenient online energy audits that you can do yourself.

In addition, we offer a CARE program that provides utility payment assistance for customers that may have financial difficulty paying their bill and a rebate program that makes it easy to invest in energy efficient upgrades to your home.

Lastly, we offer these additional recommendations. Set thermostats at 78° F when you’re at home, and raise it to 82° F or higher when you’re away. An easy way to do this is to install a programmable thermostat.

Install LED light bulbs. Set your hot water temperature to 120° F and use less hot water.