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Ocala Residents Brace For Higher Utility Bills

Ocala electric rates increase next month, just above the Florida average. It will cost nearly 11 percent more after three planned annual rate hikes.

Starting Oct. 1, residential rates will rise 3.5 percent, while commercial rates will go up 1.5 percent.

"Over time, the cost of goods and services have increased, especially since the economy has come back," said Michael Poucher, Ocala Electric Utility director. "And we've seen the cost of materials and labor, to do projects; those have all increased."

Ocala resident Sam Sakowski said she can't imagine paying more than she already does.
"Right now, we have a one-bedroom apartment, and we're paying almost $300 a month," Sakowski said.

She attempted to lower her costs by adjusting the temperature during the day and night, but nothing seemed to work.

In chat rooms, some Ocala residents are talking about adding solar power.

"Solar power is great technology," Poucher said. "The city of Ocala is part of the solar farm that they are building over near Orlando."

Poucher said Ocala hasn't raised base rates since 2012. However, residents can expect rates to increase next month, next year and the year after that.

Alana is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing