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07/10/2008 ~ Beginning with the July round of billing, Keys Energy Services (KEYS) customers will experience a 5.7-percent increase in their monthly energy bill as a direct result of rising fuel costs. For a customer consuming an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours* (kwh) of energy, their July energy bill will increase from $152.65 to $161.37 – a $8.72 increase per 1,000 kwh.

“Although KEYS purchases a diverse portfolio of energy, the rising costs of oil and natural gas have to be passed on to customers,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS’ General Manager & CEO. She added that, “it is important that customers understand KEYS does not make a profit on the cost of fuel, rather, the price KEYS pays for fuel is passed along to customers at cost.”

KEYS utilizes the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) charge to recover the fluctuating cost of fuel. The PCA was recently increased from $19.50 per 1,000 kwh to $28.00 to keep up with rising costs.

According to Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association, “the causes of the increase in fuel prices are many, but for the most part fuel prices have increased due to limited energy supplies in the United States along with increased demand worldwide for all fuels, primarily from the growing economies of China and India.”

High energy prices are likely to be with us for a long time, due largely to rising costs of fuel and of constructing new power plants, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Sharply higher futures prices, “may be the beginning of significantly higher power prices that will last for years to come,” said FERC staff.

KEYS purchases its power from the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) which works to ensure a diversified power mix and to mitigate future increases by hedging the cost of energy on the Futures Market. The current
power mix KEYS purchases from FMPA includes: Natural Gas (45.3-percent); Purchased Power on the Futures Market (24.6-percent); Coal (20.4-percent); Nuclear (9-percent); Renewable Energy (0.4-percent); and Oil (0.3-percent).

KEYS and FMPA are working to increase renewable portfolios at the local and state level, but technologies for producing renewable energy at the rate needed to supply power needs are still being developed and are not yet able to keep up with demand.

“While KEYS will continue to do everything in its power to keep energy costs low, our customers have the most direct and immediate affect on their monthly energy bill,” said Tejeda. She added that KEYS, “encourages conservation as a means to reduce the cost of monthly energy bills in light of this month’s increase and anticipated increases in the month’s to come.”

KEYS’ customers should consider these cost saving measures:

- Air Conditioning: In Florida, air conditioning is usually the largest user of electricity in homes. To conserve energy and save money, KEYS customers should raise air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or warmer during summer months. Customers should consider raising their thermostats to 82 degrees or warmer if they are planning on being away from their home for an extended period of time. Customers can save themselves the effort, and make daily temperature adjustments more dependable, by installing a programmable thermostat. Additional home cooling tips for customers to keep in mind are: every month, clean or replace air conditioning filters; once a year, inspect duct work and repair leaking ducts; always keep windows and doors closed when the air conditioning is turned on; use ceiling fans to aid room comfort, but turn fans off when rooms are not occupied; and close curtains or blinds on east- and west-facing windows during the day to reduce heat from the sun.

- Water Heating: Water heating is generally the second largest energy user in a home. To save energy, customers should reduce the temperature setting on their water heater to 120 degrees or lower if they do not use a dishwasher or if their dishwasher has a heating element. Customers can install a timer that can automatically turn the water off at night and on in the morning, and should consider using only cold water for washing clothes.

- Lighting: Customers should replace their most frequently used lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescents last longer than incandescent bulbs and produce the same amount of light using significantly less energy. Customers should always turn off lights in any room that is not occupied

- Miscellaneous: Customers should limit the number of household refrigerators; turn off personal computers when not in use; and limit the time a pool pump runs to six hours per day in the summer.

KEYS customers can also access a wealth of energy conservation tips online by logging on to and clicking on the Growing Greener Every Day icon. While online, customers can sign-up for a FREE home energy survey, take a FREE online energy survey, and receive information on how to better track their monthly usage.

*Kilowatt-hour (kwh): A common unit of electric energy consumption, and the basic unit of electric energy. One kwh is equivalent to 1,000 watts consumed over a period of one hour.

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