The City of Ocala Utility Services announces that effective immediately residential rates will drop an estimated 9.5 percent and commercial rates 10 percent, as a result of a 24 percent decrease in bulk power cost. This timely reduction will be reflected on the January billing statement.
Matt Brower, assistant city manager in charge of utilities, is happy to announce that this significant reduction will place the city’s rates on the same level as other area utilities.
“Since 2008 we have worked extremely hard to lower rates while still providing reliable service at the highest level. We have not and will not stop working to ensure that we remain competitive on pricing while excelling in service,” Brower said.
This rate reduction is due to a drop in natural gas prices. This is significant because the burning of natural gas generates approximately 70 percent of the city’s power. Another big upside to this event is that rates are competitive using natural gas, a cleaner fuel, which ensures that Ocala is doing its part to improve the environment.
“We owe this to our customers and community,” Brower stated.
Pete Tesch, president/CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Corp. responded enthusiastically to the new rates.
“In addition to the reduction in commercial peak time hours, this rate decrease will significantly help in our attraction and expansion efforts to bring new businesses to the City of Ocala, as well as ease the burden of high energy bills for our existing companies,” Tesch stated. “We applaud the City of Ocala for aggressively addressing this issue to help position our community as a competitive business destination”.
This impact extends to current businesses as well. Brower reinforced this by explaining that commercial (Non-Demand) customers using 1,500 kWh per month will see a savings of $234 per year, while industrial customers using 300KW/120,000 kWh will see savings of nearly $19,000 per year.
In addition, residential customers using 1,200 kWh per month, the average monthly usage, will see a savings of $15.60 a month or $187.20 a year. This rate reduction will have a very positive impact on all Ocala Utility customers and our community in the coming year.