TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A new study says Florida's high electric rates are due to a heavy reliance on relatively expensive natural gas.


The University of Florida study released Tuesday found Florida's rates vary widely but on the average they are at least 10 percent higher than surrounding states.

That's because Florida's neighbors rely more on coal and nuclear power.

The study was commissioned by the Public Service Commission.

The panel's chairman, Art Graham, said finding out why Floridians pay more is the first step toward restraining rates.

Graham, though, added that cost is just one factor in deciding what fuels to use.

The study concluded that cleaner-burning gas may turn out to be a plus compared to coal as environmental regulations become tighter.