Florida City Gas Files Rate Request
For the first time in 14 years, Florida City Gas filed a notification letter with the Florida Public Service Commission on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, to request an increase in its base rate for natural gas delivery service. The letter informs the Commission of our intent to file a formal rate case in October 2017.
The request will allow Florida City Gas to continue to meet our commitment of providing safe and reliable natural gas service to our more than 108,000 customers throughout south and central Florida.
The key drivers necessitating our request for a rate increase are significant investment in capital projects to enhance our system, increasing capacity needs to ensure reliability in the southern portion of our system, and employee development needs due to an aging workforce.
We’ve worked hard to contain costs and manage our company efficiently for more than a decade, but like any business, we face rising costs. For example, we’ve added more than 5,800 customers and installed more than 400 miles of distribution mains and 55 miles of transmission mains since the last rate case.
The proposed increase will not be finalized until the rate case is filed in October 2017.
No costs associated with the recent purchase of Florida City Gas by Southern Company will be charged to our customers.
We realize the impact any rate increase can have on our customers, and we do not make this request lightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a rate case?
A utility rate case is the formal regulatory process by which the Public Service Commission approves rates for the utility that are fair, just and reasonable, and allow the utility to provide safe and reliable service to customers.
Q: Why is Florida City Gas filing for a rate case?
For the first time in 14 years, FCG will file a rate case with the Florida Public Service Commission to request an increase in its base rate. While we have been prudent and effective in managing our costs while providing clean, safe and reliable natural gas service to Floridians for more than 70 years, FCG has invested heavily into growing and modernizing its distribution system primarily due to the following:
- Meeting the requirements of new residential and business growth in our region
- Maintaining and modernizing our existing infrastructure (SAFE, DIMP, damage prevention)
- Meeting new safety requirements under the federal Pipeline Safety Act
- Providing additional resources for safety and compliance activities, such as labor, materials and supplies
- Developing our workforce due to an aging workforce
For many years we have been able to absorb these costs, but in October we will ask the FPSC to approve a new base rate. We realize the impact any rate increase can have on our customers, and we do not make this request lightly.
Q: What is the process for the Commission to consider raising a utility’s rates?
The FPSC will audit our request and hold a public hearing. They will evaluate the case under the commission’s legal obligation to balance consumer needs to receive reliable services at reasonable rates with the utility’s need to earn a reasonable return on investment.
Q: Is there anything I can do to lower my gas bill?
Yes. You can learn additional ways to save on your natural gas bills through our energySMART programs with special incentives and offers and high efficiency appliance rebates. Other financial options are available such as a budget payment plan to help evenly distribute your gas bills throughout the year, and qualified customers who need energy assistance can take advantage of programs such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Q: How does my gas bill compare to gas bills from other Florida companies/territories?
FCG has some of the lower residential rates of any Florida natural gas utility and is among some of the lowest natural gas utility rates in the country. We will continue to commit to having low residential rates.
Q: When was the last time my rates increased?
FCG has not increased its base rates in nearly 14 years. We’ve worked hard to contain costs and manage our company efficiently. For example, we’ve added more than 5,800 customers and installed more than 400 miles of distribution mains and 55 miles of transmission mains since the last rate case.
Q: How much is the proposed rate increase?
We have sent a test-year notification letter to the Commission informing them of the company’s intention to file a formal rate case in October, but the proposed increase will not be finalized until the rate case is filed.
Q: When would it take effect?
The proposed increase would begin after FPSC review and approval, which could occur in mid-year 2018.
Q: What can I do if I have questions about the increase?
You may contact us at 800.993.7546.
Q: Why increase rates now?
We’ve successfully held the line on costs for more than a decade, but like any business, we face rising costs. This base rate adjustment will enable us to continue to provide safe and reliable service to our customers, meet our commitments to our employees, retirees, and shareholders, and continue to contribute to the Florida economy.