Duke Gets Backing to Collect Fuel Costs

Posted By: Dave Heller (deleted) Industry, Legislative/Regulatory,

Duke Energy Florida should be able to collect an additional $314 million from customers to pay for higher-than-expected fuel costs for power plants, staff members of the Florida Public Service Commission recommended Thursday.

The plan, if approved by the commission during a Feb. 1 meeting, would lead to Duke customers seeing increases in their monthly bills starting in March. For example, residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would see their monthly bills go from the current $140.96 to $148.90.

Thursday’s recommendation came a day after Tampa Electric Co. requested approval to pass along about $165 million in additional costs to customers because of fuel costs. That increase, if approved, would take effect in April. The utility industry has grappled for months with higher-than-expected natural gas prices.

Each year, the Public Service Commission sets the amounts that utilities can collect for fuel in the following year. But if costs are higher than expected, utilities can seek what are known as “mid-course corrections” that allow them to increase the amounts that customers pay. The commission has already approved such a mid-course correction sought by Florida Power & Light for this year.

Article reposted with permission from the News Service of Florida.