Report ranks Gainesville as highest municipal utility rates in Florida

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GAINESVILLE, Fla (WCJB) — UPDATE:

"I have to be honest with you whether you're number one or number five the fact of the matter is that GRU almost a decade ago decided to become the leader in renewables," said Ed Bielarski, GRU General Manager.

Bielarski also said consumers conserve more energy than what's represented in the FMEA's report for September 2019.

"What's interesting about the statistics is that you're showing 1200 kWh our average for the community is 850," said Bielarski.

Executive Director for FMEA, Amy Zubaly explains how they put together their findings.

“The way we get the information is directly from the utility itself and so every month my staff sends out a rate form for the utilities to the fill out and it’s done on a monthly basis, so it has spaces for them to put their base rates fuel adjustment for the different categories whether its residential, commercial or industrial,” said Zubaly.

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Gainesville ranked highest in municipal utility rates in Florida according to a recent report by the Florida Municipal Electric Association.

In the September 2019 report FMEA compiled the residential utility rates from across the state which ranked Gainesville the highest for any municipality at approximately $154 per 1200 kilowatt hours.

The report compiled rates from municipalities of all sizes which included some from North Central Florida.

Here are the top 20 rankings from highest to lowest:

Gainesville
Key West
Fort Meade
Blountstown
Winter Park
Mount Dora
Leesburg
Alachua
Homestead
Newberry
Ocala
Green Cove Springs
St. Cloud
Bushnell
Lake Worth
Jacksonville Beach
Fort Pierce
Kissimmee
Tallahassee
Orlando

In FMEA’s September 2018 report, Gainesville ranked third among highest residential utility rates.

Gainesville ranking highest in 2019 came as Gainesville City Commissioners recently voted to increase residential utility rates for 2020.

If you're reading on a desktop or laptop the FMEA reports for 2019 and 2018 are attached the right of the article text. Mobile readers, please scroll to the bottom of this article for that PDF.