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GRU rate and fuel adjustment increases lead to 20.5% bill increase over 3 months

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) will raise the Electric Fuel Adjustment charge on December 1 for the second month in a row, adding to the increased rates from October 1 and increasing the total electric bill, including taxes, for 1000 kWh from $135.93 in September 2021 to $163.77 in December 2021.

A video sent out by GRU to customers states that the charge is an adjustment based on the cost of natural gas that is used in GRU’s electric generating plants. GRU says it is a “pass-through” charge that adjusts for gas prices “that are soaring worldwide.” The video also says that the increases are being spread over months in which electricity usage is lower and that they are using the biomass plant more instead of the natural gas plants.

Residential electric rates went up on October 1, 2021, from $0.0745/kWh to $0.0797/kWh for the first 850 kilowatt-hours (Tier 1) and from $0.0987/kWh to $0.1056/kWh for usage over 850 kWh (Tier 2). The Electric Fuel Adjustment charge in September was $0.03/kWh, and it increased to $0.04/kWh in November and $0.05/kWh in December. The Electric Customer Charge also increased from $15/month to $16/month on October 1.

The result is a 20.5% increase in the total electric bill for a household using 1000 kWh/month and a 20.3% increase for a household using 750 kWh/month. The increase just since October has been over 14% for all households.

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The Purchased Gas Adjustment, a similar adjustment for natural gas users, increased from $0.023 to $0.038 on November 1 and will increase again to $0.05 on December 1.

Electric rates are set by the Gainesville City Commission, while GRU sets the fuel adjustment charges.

In an email to the Gainesville City Commission, GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski wrote, “GRU will continue to evaluate fuel costs based on actual and projected expenses and anticipates the need for further increases as we enter the winter months, when cold weather typically drives up the price of natural gas, coal and oil.”

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