JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last week, News4JAX asked JEA customers to weigh in on rising electric bills. We found that hot temperatures weren’t the only factor leading to bills doubling, and in some cases, tripling.
JEA is taking steps to try and help by not disconnecting customers, starting next month, for lack of payment and dropping the late fee charges for those who need more time.
We wanted to know if other local utility customers were having the same problems as JEA customers with extremely high electric bills and if those utilities were responding in a similar fashion.
Right now, it seems, JEA is the only local utility that is offering a temporary break for its customers, but all the utilities have some type of program to help customers who can’t pay.
All the utilities in our area -- JEA, Clay Electric, FPL and Beaches Energy -- are seeing a surge in energy prices, the cost to produce electricity. In most cases, it’s being passed on to customers. Those charges and high temperatures are the reason electric bills are so high and making a lot of people sweat.
We heard from many Clay Electric customers, like this New4JAX Insider who said: “My bill has doubled in the last few months. We can barely make ends meet with these soaring prices and heat.”
A spokesperson for Clay Electric said they have about 186,000 metered customers, and at this point, they are not waiving late fees or disconnects, but they do have various programs in place to help those who need assistance because of the unexpected high bills.
Clay Electric increased its rate slightly in July because of the energy cost to produce electricity.
It’s the same story at Beaches Energy, where according to its website, they had to increase rates in July for that reason. The website says the average customer might see a $20 increase.
FPL services a number of areas outside of Jacksonville, Like MacClenny Lake City and St. Augustine.
News4JAX Insider Sherry Harrell said, “I have FPL and my last month’s bill was high at $338, but this month was even worse at $410. This is scary and by far my highest bill.”
We reached out to FPL, and a spokesperson emailed that they do offer some assistance similar to what JEA is doing.
We do not disconnect in specific regions when the forecasted temperature is 95 degrees or higher or if there is a heat advisory for the area. We have not reached our hot weather thresholds this week. We are offering our customers extended payment plans and late payment waivers if they call and express financial hardship to our representatives.
No matter what utility, if the bill is too much and you can’t pay right now, call your provider. They may be able to help with late fees and give you a longer grace period to pay the bill.
Are you having trouble paying your FPL, Clay Electric, or Beaches Energy bill?
We want to hear from Florida Power and Light, Clay Electric, and/or Beaches Energy customers.
Are you having trouble paying your electric bill? Was your recent bill unexpectedly high? Let us know in the form below.