Gulf Power seeks rate increase for grid modernization program

Southern Co. unit Gulf Power Co. filed with the Florida Public Service Commission to approve a two-phase price increase to help pay for a power grid construction program.

The company plans to build and replace power lines and infrastructure over the next three year to maintain the system’s reliability as well as add new transmission lines and equipment to comply with federal environmental regulation.

The company stated the upgrades are needed to upgrade or replace obsolete equipment and facilities that are at or beyond life cycle, including a 70-mile section of transmission line that is more than 70 years old.

According to Power Engineering, the first rate increase would take effect in April 2014. That increase would raise the total bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kWh by 7.5 percent, or $8.94 a month, and increase the monthly bill from $118.88 to $127.82.

The second step of the increase, which is related to the new environmental requirements, would not occur until 2015 and would raise the monthly bill an additional $1.99.

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