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Realizing that many are either out of work or facing strained finances due to the coronavirus, the area’s three energy companies are working with customers to soften the blow.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida is requesting approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to offer annual fuel savings in a single bill.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

Traditionally, these fuel savings would be refunded over the following year. If approved, a typical residential customer would see a decrease of about 21% on May’s bill and commercial customers from 20% to 45%.

Duke has 47,500 Citrus County customers.

For information, visit www.dukeenergyupdates.com.

Sumter Electric Cooperative

Sumter Electric Cooperative (SECO) said in a news release it has extended payment arrangement timeframes over and above normal parameters and is waiving late payment fees.

Members requesting a payment arrangement can do so 24/7 by talking to SECO’s virtual assistant on the automated phone system or by logging into SmartHub at SECOEnergy.com.

SECO has about 15,260 accounts in Citrus County.

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC) encourages customers having trouble paying their bill to contact its customer service department at 352-567-5133, ext. 6007, to talk with someone about developing a plan.

The cooperative is also suspending disconnection for non-payment at this time.

WREC has about 25,675 customers in Citrus County.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.