OUC expected to hike rates amid rising inflation and fuel costs

ORLANDO, Florida. – If you are an Orlando Utilities Commission customer, prepare to see an increase in your energy bill in July.

“It’s definitely going to have an impact on summertime as well as air conditioning costs for sure,” said OUC client Michael Barbara.

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The OUC plans to increase its rates by 10%.

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“We are able to absorb these costs to some extent, but it will definitely impact some of the funds that we will set aside for other uses,” Barbara said.

The proposed 10% rate increase would take effect June 1 and is expected to cost between $10 and $15 more per month. Increases will be reflected as a fuel cost.

“You see it everywhere for things like fuel. You go to the gas pump these days and it costs you more to drive your car. So the same thing exists for us. It costs us more to generate electricity,” said Linda Ferrone, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer. “The part of our prices that is fuel prices – our fuel prices – is a direct pass-through of our costs to our customers. Since we are a non-profit entity, it is not about making more money for OUC.

According to the OUC, inflation and the war in Ukraine are the main factors contributing to the changes.

“When fuel costs rise, we pass those price increases on to our customers. When they come down, we also pass them on,” Ferrone said.

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OUC serves more than 267,000 customers in Orange and Osceola counties. The company told News 6 it realizes many families are already struggling to make ends meet, which is why it offers payment plans and programs, such as a free efficiency audit. energy.

“We’re going to go out and help you figure out where you’re wasting money on your electricity or maybe your water,” Ferrone said. “They come in and examine your attic installation. They look around your windows and doors to see where you might have an air conditioning leak.

OUC also offers the Power Pass program, a prepaid plan that OUC says has a significant impact on your monthly bill.

“We’re seeing people who sign up for our prepaid plan experience an 8-10% reduction in their usage as they become very, very aware of how they use electricity,” Ferrone said. And through the Efficiency Delivered program, the company is providing assistance of up to $2,500 for energy and water efficiency improvements in a customer’s home.

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The utility’s board of directors will hold a public workshop to discuss the proposed rate hike and will meet on May 10 to vote on an increase.

To learn more about ways to save on your energy bill with OUC, click here.

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