The Gainesville City Commission approved GRU’s approximately $447.9 million Fiscal Year 2018 capital and operating budget on Tuesday, July 18.
A 2 percent increase in electric base rates in FY18 was also approved, signifying the first electric base rate increase for GRU customers since FY12. New rates take effect Oct. 1, 2017. Base rates for natural gas, water and wastewater will remain the same.
The base rate bump is due largely to increased expenses resulting from maintenance and infrastructure improvements. Among GRU’s critical projects is expansion of the South Energy Center (SEC) to accommodate the needs of UF Health’s Heart & Vascular and Neuromedicine hospitals. GRU recovers expenses related to SEC expansion through its contract with UF Health. Net revenues from the SEC flow into the electric fund and will eventually help provide rate relief for GRU electric customers.
GRU’s FY18 budget does not factor in ongoing negotiations to purchase Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) and terminate the 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The potential benefits of a GREC purchase and PPA termination could have a profound positive impact on FY18 and future budgets.
The following tables show how the base rate increase will impact customers based on industry standard usage and average GRU customer usage.