Electric customers across the Southeast have felt the increase and volatility of natural gas prices directly on electric bills in the last few years. Utilities in the region pass fuel costs directly on to customers, removing the risk of high and volatile fuel prices from a utility and placing it solely on the utility’s customers. This is a confusing process; in our latest whitepaper, “Decoding Fuel Costs in Electric Bills,” the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) breaks it down with a focus on three utilities in Florida as examples.
The main reason fuel costs are so impactful in the Southeast, and in Florida in particular, is that utilities rely heavily on gas-fired power plants to generate electricity. Over the past two decades, utilities all across the Southeast have increased reliance on this volatile and climate change-inducing fossil fuel, and several utilities in the region are actually proposing more gas-fired power plants. Increasing our reliance on gas will only lead to more issues – like power bill volatility and unreliable electric systems in extreme weather – while slowing the transition to clean energy.