COT Electric Rates Trending Downward

A Tallahassee Reports comparison of electric rates over the last three years shows COT electric rates have decreased more than any other of the seven utilities included in the comparison group.

Using data from the Florida Municipal Electric Association for December, 2008, December 2009, and December 2010, Tallahassee Reports compared monthly residential rates for 1000 KWH of electric usage. The comparison includes all municipalities that generate their own electricity. It does not include cities like Bushnell or Bartow that must buy a majority of their electricity from power producers and it does not include investor owned utilities like Progress Energy or Gulf Power.

The table below shows that of the eight municipal utilities, Tallahassee and Gainesville are tied for the highest rates at approximately $127 per 1000 KWH. However, a closer look shows that the COT has made the biggest move towards lower rates since 2008 than any of the other municipal utilities.

For example in December 2008, COT charged $157.80 for 1000 KWH and in December 2010, the cost was $127.97. That is a 18% drop. Lakeland had the next largest drop with a 9% decrease during the same period.

Also, in 2008 the COT electric rates were approximately 27% higher than the average of the eight municipal utilities and in 2010, the rates were just over 5% higher than the average. For the COT to be in the “middle of the pack”, rates for a 1000 KWH would have to decrease approximately $6.00 a month.


Municipality 2008 2009 2010 % Change 2008-2010
Tallahassee $157.80 $129.50 $127.97 -18.90%
Gainesville $132.60 $130.45 $127.95 -3.51%
St. Cloud $108.35 $124.61 $124.61 15.01%
Homestead $125.15 $126.55 $121.01 -3.31%
Jacksonville $116.11 $110.46 $120.10 3.44%
Orlando $104.19 $119.82 $119.82 15.00%
New Smyrna Beach $123.80 $123.80 $119.80 -3.23%
Lakeland $124.39 $113.79 $112.67 -9.42%
Average $124.05 $122.37 $121.74
Tallahassee % of Average 127.21% 105.82% 105.12%

A review of base rates and fuel costs over this period, show that COT base rates have stayed relatively flat while fuel costs have decreased significantly. This is consistent with news reports that indicate that natural gas prices are at historical lows.

The question now is will base rates remain stable so that COT customers can continue to reap the benefits of lower rates when compared to the past several years? The COT is currently conducting a “rate study” to determine base rate requirements over the next five years.

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