OCALA, Fla. - Our viewers reached out, so we went to find answers. Multiple Ocala residents told our station their electric bills have doubled twice since the start of the year.
"A 300% increase in utility rates for power cost adjustment is excessive," said John Linsky.
Linsky got quite the surprise when he opened his electric bill this month. In January he paid $160 to the Ocala Electric Utility. Today, he paid $285.
"I initially hollered at my wife for her excessive energy utilization and she confessed it was not me," joked Linsky.
Linsky quickly found the real reason for the spike was a Price Cost Adjustment or PCA to his bill. He found the city had doubled the rate for the second time this year. In January the PCA was $0.014 kWh. In February, it rose to $0.028. Then on June 1, the PCA rose to $0.056 kWh. Linsky posted online and found he wasn’t the only one feeling the pinch.
"Over 200 people responded to the point where I had to stop notifications," said Linsky
The City of Ocala tells us they had to raise prices due to the cost of natural gas. Their budget assessments showed that if they didn’t raise the rates, the costs of energy would exceed even their reserve budget.
According to Business Insider’s market trend charts, the price of natural gas has increased 149.16% so far this year. The current price is also drastically higher than the years passed.
"With energy costs coming down some, my expectation would be that the city would reduce the power cost adjustment, but, unless we consumers put pressure on the city they may just leave it right where it is," said Linsky.
The City of Ocala says they are constantly assessing the price of electricity. They do have assistance programs available to residents who need help paying their bills. You can contact their Customer Service Office, 352-629-CITY (2489), Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or visit their website for more information: Assistance Programs | City of Ocala (ocalafl.org)