Duke Energy Florida should be able to start recouping $16.7 million from customers stemming from the utility’s costs in responding to two tropical storms last year, staff members of the Florida Public Service Commission have recommended. The regulatory commission will decide the issue during a July 8 meeting, but staff members submitted a 11-page recommendation on Friday. Duke filed the request in May because of its costs related to Tropical Storm Eta in November and Tropical Storm Isaias in late July and early August.
Both storms had been hurricanes before weakening as they approached Florida. Duke said in the filing that the storms caused power outages. Eta, which came ashore near Cedar Key and crossed the state after earlier causing damage in South Florida, had the larger impact. Utilities typically are allowed to recover storm-related costs from customers, though they are required to show that the costs were justified. Under the PSC staff recommendation, Duke would be able to recover the money from customers over a year-long period starting in August. Residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month would see increases of 55 cents in their monthly bills. The utility industry uses 1,000 kilowatt hours as a benchmark, though actual electricity consumption varies widely.
Article reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.