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Gulf Power plans to seek an increase in base rates for electricity according to a filing with the Florida Public Service Commission.

Citing the need to continue to invest in the long-term reliability of Northwest Florida’s energy infrastructure, Gulf Power has filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to seek an increase in prices beginning in July.

If the request is approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, the average residential customer’s total monthly bill will increase by $10.22 per month or 7 percent — from $148.64 to $158.86.

Stan Connally, Gulf Power Chairman, President & CEO, said the energy provider works hard to control costs while planning for the future and delivering the reliable services their customers expect.

“We have worked hard to manage our costs and have lowered prices over the past two years,” said Connally. “In fact, we plan to do that again in January where the average residential customer will see a decrease of $4.63.”

The last time Gulf Power customers saw an increase was in January 2015. In comparing 2015 prices to the proposed prices, the average residential customer’s monthly bill will increase by only $2.50 per month, or less than 2 percent.

“Securing our customers’ energy future requires a balanced energy mix that includes renewables and 24/7 energy sources like natural gas and low-cost, cleaner-than-ever coal,” said Connally. “Energy security also includes long-term reliability. Since 2010, Gulf Power has improved its reliability by 40 percent and we must continue that trend of improvement. This means our customers are having fewer and shorter power outages — continuous improvement in this area is critical.”

Along with the request, Gulf Power is also seeking approval of new rate options for residential customers.

“Studies show that our customers are happier when their energy bills are more predictable and when they have choices. These options are designed to give customers more predictability in monthly bills reducing the increases associated with extreme weather months. In addition, two new options will offer residential customers more rate plan choices based on the way they use energy.”

The energy provider is also putting into place new options for greater customer convenience, including an improved online experience, additional payment locations at popular stores, and payment kiosks in their customer offices.

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