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Your current Duke FL rates, and How your electric bill works

This article is specific to Duke FL's Florida coverage.

A "Tiered rate plan" is a rate plan where the amount you pay per kWh for electricity increases as the quantity of electricity consumed increases. Generally there is a baseline allowance of a certain number of kWhs (kilowatt hours) per month that are charged at a cheaper rate, and then usage above this allowance is charged at a higher rate.

What are my current Duke FL rates?

Here are the rates you currently pay:

Plan Name: Residential (RS-1)
Last Update: January 1, 2018
Fixed Charge: Service Charge: $8.82
Rate per kWh
Tier1: $0.115
Tier2: $0.14
Energy in Tier
Tier1: First 1,000 kWh
Tier2: Above 1,000 kWh

How does my rate plan work?

Your electric bill has two parts:

  1. A fixed monthly charge.
  2. A charge per unit of energy used.

The fixed monthly charge covers Duke FL expenses that are not directly related to your energy use. Examples are Duke FL's phone-support staff, and the hold music you hear while waiting for phone support (Mr. Snarky Pants wrote this article). As the name suggests, the fixed charge does not change month by month. It's not a big charge ($8.82/month) compared to the energy charge.

What's the energy unit that Duke FLuses? Like other U.S. utilities, they charge per "kilowatt-hour", abbreviated as "kWh". Understanding kilowatt hours will help you cut your electric bill.

 

Let's break it down with the classic light bulb example:

100 light bulbs x 10 watts per light bulb = 1,000 watts.
A "kilo" is a thousand, so 1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt.
If the light bulbs are left on for 1 hour, that's 1 kilowatt x 1 hour = 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh).

1 kilowatt x 1 hour = 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Let's make sure you got that.

 

How many kilowatt-hours are used if you leave 300 10-watt light bulbs on for an hour? ...You're right!

3 kilowatt-hours (300 bulbs x 10 watts = 3,000 watts / 1,000 = 3 kilowatts.
Left on over 1 hour = 3 kilowatt-hours).

300 light bulbs 3 kilowatst x 1 hour = 3 kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Now let's talk money.

 

How much does Duke FL charge to keep these 100 light bulbs on for an hour?

They charge 12¢ per kWh on average.
1 kWh x 12¢ per kWh = 12¢.
If the 100 light bulbs were kept on 24x7 for a month (720 hours straight), Duke FL would charge $86.40.

100 lightbulbs x 24/7 x 12 cents = $86.40

What are rate tiers?

To complicate things (we're talking about electric bills after all), Duke FL doesn't just charge the same flat rate for every kWh of energy. They increase the rate when an energy-use threshold is reached. In other words, the rate plan is "tiered". Energy in the second tier is 1.2 times as expensive as energy in the first tier.

Let's connect this to life with a 1 kW espresso machine. Let's say the machine is on for an hour every morning. The total cost to run it in the first week (at the cheapest tier-1 rate) is: $0.78. The cost to run it in the last week (at the most expensive tier-2 rate) is: $0.95. So the utility is charging an extra $0.17 for the same amount of energy (7 kWh).

Is it worth foregoing espresso in the last week to save $0.17? Never.

How much does a typical Duke FL customer pay per month?

A typical family in Duke FLterritory (specifically in Orlando) uses 1,397 kWh per month on average (they'd get to the same total by keeping 192 10-watt light bulbs on 24x7). They pay $175 per month for those 1,397 kWh.

How do Duke FL rates compare to the national average?

Duke FL rates are about the same as the national average. The average Duke FL rate for a typical family is 12.5¢ per kWh (including the fixed charge). The average national residential rate is 13¢, according to the U.S. Energy Info. Admin.

What Are the Best Ways to Cut Our Energy Bill?

We're glad you asked. Let's continue to the article: Three Ways to Cut Your Duke FL electric Bill.