ORLANDO, Fla. -

In an unusual move for a utility company, Progress Energy Florida today filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to lower residential rates.

The company is seeking a 6 percent rate reduction in 2013 due mostly to lower fuel costs.

“Progress Energy Florida is working to manage and mitigate expenses, and we are focused on keeping electric costs as low as possible for the more than 1.6 million households and businesses that depend on us,” said Vincent Dolan, Progress Energy Florida state president.

Residential customers, on average, use 1,000 kilowatt hours per month; the rate reduction would mean consumers' bills would drop $7.44 monthly.  If approved by the PSC, new prices will take effect with the first billing cycle in January.

The reduction would include a $129 million refund to customers that the commission has approved for 2013 as part of a prior rate settlement with Progress Energy.

“We are working every day to operate our business more efficiently while continuing to provide our customers increasingly clean, reliable and affordable power now and in the future,” Dolan said.

A decision by the PSC on the rate reduction request is expected in late November.

Progress Energy Florida is a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Duke Energy.