Your JEA bill will likely be going up next year

Your JEA bill will likely be going up next year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Your JEA bill will likely be going up next year.

On Tuesday, the JEA Board of Directors approved a possible rate increase -- an additional $2 a month. But it could go much higher depending on the price of fuel.

This year, JEA customers have seen their bills go up and down as a result of the cost of natural gas used to produce electricity.

Next April, customers could see yet another increase in their bills -- if approved.

The base rate of electricity for JEA customers will go up 1.5%. That impact may not be that much for the average customer -- about $2 more a month.

But there is something else. The fuel surcharge that customers pay for natural gas and coal that JEA uses could go up about 17% -- and that’s just an estimated. It could go higher, so customers could see an additional $10 to $12 more a month.

Your JEA bill could rise next year.

For JEA customers like Sam Walker, who was paying a bill on Tuesday, it’s not a surprise.

“The way things are going now, it’s just the way of the world,” Walker said.

The head of customer service for JEA said this is all still up in the air, but next year, customers should expect to see some changes in their bills.

“Less than $2 we estimate, and we’re just not sure yet,” said JEA Chief Customer Officer Sheila Pressley. “All of this has to do with the number of factors what we are seeing now -- a number of factors. We talked about the geopolitical influence, and that is driving the cost of fuel, and fuel is used to generate electricity, and it’s all related.”

Those geopolitical factors include the war in Ukraine and the everyday price of gas.

And there is something else -- that’s the cost of Plant Vogtle, the nuclear power facility being built in Georgia. It’s more than $2 billion over budget, and JEA is on the hook for part of that because of an agreement made before the plant was built. A small portion of JEA customers’ bills right now is going to pay for that.

News4JAX asked customers about the extra cost, particularly the price of natural gas and how their bills are going to reflect that in the future.

“That’s a tough one,” said JEA customer Jime Lewis. “I guess you just have to deal with it. It’s one of those bills well I know you gotta have it, so you got a pay it.”

And JEA said it will have hearings to discuss the base rate increases and again pointed out that won’t happen until next year, but fuel charges could change.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.