Lakeland Electric has joined other area utilities in offering a break on rates in order to help customers cope with the financial impacts of coronavirus shut-downs.

A fuel charge of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour was approved by the Lakeland City Commission and its utility committee on Monday; that’s down from the 2.7-cent rate approved a month ago, which at the time was the lowest rate in 17 years.

For a residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, that represents a reduction in the fuel charge from $27 to $20 a month. Combined with the $64.77 base charge, the total bill goes down $7 from $91.77 to $84.77.

For years, 1,000 kWh per month was considered the typical residential bill, though utility officials concede that the average is somewhat higher these days.

Several other Tampa Bay-area utilities, including Tampa Electric and Duke Energy, have also reduced rates in response to coronavirus-related consumer pressures.

The $27 rate shown in the chart below has been reduced to $20 for the rest of the current fiscal quarter:

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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