Report: Tallahassee Residential Electric Rates Rank 10th in State

Report: Tallahassee Residential Electric Rates Rank 10th in State

The Florida Municipal Electric Association’s (FMEA) bill comparison for June 2019 shows that the City of Tallahassee rates for 1,000 kWh ranks 10th lowest out of the 38 utilities included in the comparison. See chart at end of report.

Tallahassee’s rate of $109.07 was below the municipal owned utility average of $113.02 and the investor owned utility (IOU) average of $125.75. See chart below.

Tallahassee’s rates are lower than three of the four major IOU’s. Only Florida Power and Light had lower rates.

One year ago Tallahassee’s rate of $112.81 ranked 14th in the comparison.

FEMA reported that overall, out of fifteen ranked categories; Lakeland Electric reported the lowest bills in seven categories; while the City of Mount Dora reported the lowest bill in five. The City of Tallahassee reported the lowest in two categories and the City of Bartow in one.

For residential bills, out of three categories; Lakeland Electric reported the lowest bills in two categories and the City of Bartow in one.

For commercial bills, out of eight ranked categories; Lakeland Electric reported the lowest bill in four categories. The City of Tallahassee and the City of Mount Dora reported the lowest bills in two categories each.

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14 Responses to "Report: Tallahassee Residential Electric Rates Rank 10th in State"

  1. Avatar
    Snidely Whiplash   August 2, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Thank goodness we elect honest officials to oversee the COT run utilities.
    Oh wait … we dont 🙁
    A utility operation totally run by a municipality is wide open for hidden revenue raising overcharge to fund pet projects of the elected officials and COT employees are way to in bed with corrupt elected officials to become whistle blowers … or way to intimated.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Mike   August 2, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Great points, Snidely – and that’s probably happened (or is happening) several times in the past decade or so, since our last “mayors” and “city commissions” used the city as their private piggy bank/extortion tool. Hope that local FBI net gets cast very wide and is very full soon. Bring in more nets as needed.
    One way to see how honest (“open and transparent”) our “new” city officials are determined to be would be to request a voter referendum (in a special city election?) to require an outside, totally independent, ongoing auditing of the city utility that monitors all books, rates vs. all expenses etc. The quarterly auditing reports would be presented to a yearly-revolving Citizen Utility Oversight Board of 2 representatives chosen by each city district, so that any and all proposed rate increases can be opened and judged independently whether they are warranted or not. If the city overruled the Citizen Board, they would have to justify why, and the public fights would flag any suspect utility rate increases. Conversely, if a rate increase is really justified, the reports would demonstrate that and help the city make it’s case for raising the rates.
    Perhaps I’m uninformed and that sort of system or similar is already in place, but if not, it may assist in keeping the city utility “honest” in any rate increases.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Robert   August 2, 2019 at 10:10 am

    It’s sad when people trash things for fun.

    The second graph makes it pretty clear that municipality owned utilities provide lower cost electricity than investor owned ones. Profits add a lot of cost to anything. If there’s competition, theoretically that limits profit-taking. The nature of electric utilities make competition impossible however. Thus, government needs to provide the service so people have at least some input into the prices charged and recourse when service is poor.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Snidely Whiplash   August 2, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Sorry about your feelings but leftist local elected officials along with the mindless lockstep “vote D right down the ballot” citizens have totally set themselves up for being trashed for fun.
      It’s fun so deal with it Professor.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      j g   August 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Look no further than Gainesville where the municipality runs nearly everything. Highest rates around and only 7 Billion in debt.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Mike   August 4, 2019 at 8:28 am

      Regarding “profits”: all non-government businesses that provide goods or services must create profit to survive and continue being in business. Competition (unless illegal in some way) always limits profits as the free-market usually allows people to go to whatever business they choose to get the most value for the least price. (Unless, of course, that (government) industry is “the only game in town” as the City of Tallahassee Utility is.)
      That’s Capitalism: a proven, thriving and diverse economic system and the one that provides the most economic freedom and best quality of life for the greatest number of people. Any free-market business or company that fails to produce profit sooner or later ceases to exist. So profit (up to a reasonable point) shouldn’t be framed as some kind of evil or wrong thing. There’s nothing wrong with “profit” – as long as it’s legally earned in a fair, level playing field of competitive free-market business.

      Regarding “Profits add a lot of cost to anything”: That’s just flat wrong. Private industry can’t add more profit (legally) than the free market determines. Any private industry must be efficient and cost-effective or go out of business due to more efficient competition.
      Conversely, government-run programs are often highly inefficient and have enormous cost overruns. Reason: Government has no need to be cost-efficient, they’re a tax-fed industry, and the taxes will come in regardless of how inefficient or poorly the government administers it’s programs-services. It’s very frustrating that too often, as Government gets less efficient at providing services or managing in an economical and efficient manner, it just raises taxes, rather than search and work within itself to cut costs, as private industry must do.

      It’s up to laws and minimal-as-possible government regulation to reign in the unethical abuses of Capitalism (usually due to greedy individuals that unlawfully exploit the system). Those types of abuses can come from private-sector business, government, or a combination of the two. We all see that locally and nationally.

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    A citizen   August 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    It ranks 10th LOWEST rates in the state. Not highest.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Hope   August 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Am I perceiving that things are not derailing here… that this is actually a positive?

    Perhaps, this area of the city may be on the upswing thanks to Steve Stewart’s expertise, due diligence, and watch dog perspectives are having a positive effect in an area that needed it.

    Kudos to Steve Stewart!

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Tim   August 2, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Just moved form Texas, was paying @6.3 per kWwh. Tallahassee prices may be competitive for Florida but, it could be way better.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    James   August 4, 2019 at 7:26 am

    If I could De-annex from the city I would do it in a heart beat. 80 percent of the city taxes I pay are spent somewhere else.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      DeepStateProvacatuer   August 4, 2019 at 9:05 am

      They’ve got these things called trucks. You pack your stuff in it and go somewhere else. Embrace the free market and take your skills somewhere else. I doubt you would be missed.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Mike   August 4, 2019 at 8:01 pm

        Could you please try to stick to at least alternative opinions and-or actual reasons for your inputs? High-school sarcasm and ad hominem remarks aren’t doing anything.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          DeepStateProvatuer   August 5, 2019 at 9:15 am

          Lol! This is a post about utility rates, and OP cokes in complaining about how badly he wants to de-annex from the city because he doesn’t think his taxes are spent in the right way. In what universe is this related to COT having relatively low electric rates? Why not throw your same response to OP, who didn’t speak toward utility rates? All I did was provide some helpful guidance on how he could, in fact, reduce his City of Tallahassee taxes.

          Reply
  8. Avatar
    Preston Scott   August 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    This is good news. However, it could be better news and hopefully it will get there. The COT subsidizes its annual budget with significant transfers from the utility to the general fund. So, it is a taxing mechanism for the City. Additionally, it hits the poorer members of the community the hardest, so it is also regressive. Between the middle-man fees the COT charges for waste collection and the transfers things are still much higher than they could, or even should, be. As long as the utility transfers so much money $25m (give or take) a year, there will never be a good discussion on what property taxes ought to be and what should they pay for regarding services.

    Reply

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