Justices urged to overturn Duke costs decision 

Posted By: Dave Heller Industry , Legislative/Regulatory ,

News Service of Florida

Tallahassee — The state Office of Public Counsel is urging the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a decision by regulators that called for Duke Energy Florida customers to pay $7.2 million related to an outage at a power plant.

The Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers, filed a 44-page brief Wednesday challenging the Florida Public Service Commission’s approval of the costs.

The case involves an outage at Duke’s Crystal River Unit 4 power plant that forced the utility to buy what is known as replacement power, according to the brief. Duke sought to collect $14.4 million from customers to cover the replacement-power costs, but the Office of Public Counsel and representatives of business customers objected, arguing that Duke had mishandled the situation.

The Public Service Commission last year decided that Duke should be responsible for half of the costs, with the other half paid by customers. That prompted the Office of Public Counsel to go to the Supreme Court, arguing that regulators had not properly weighed Duke’s responsibility.

“The commission’s final decision, which is unsupported by either competent or substantial evidence, only holds DEF (Duke) responsible for half of their imprudence and is inconsistent with prior agency practice and established policy,” Wednesday’s brief said.

Article reposted with permission from the News Service of Florida.