Florida Power & Light will seek to recoup an estimated $1.3 billion from customers to cover the costs of restoring electricity after Hurricane Irma barreled through the state last month, the utility said Thursday.
The costs would start showing up in customers’ bills in March — just as they get done paying off costs from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. If the new plan is approved by the state Public Service Commission, FPL customers would continue paying Irma costs through 2020.
“FPL’s storm reserve fund was fully depleted by hurricanes Hermine and Matthew last year, and as with most states across the U.S., the costs of responding to major natural disasters are not covered by the regular rates paid by electric customers in Florida,” FPL spokesman David McDermitt said in an email Thursday. “We understand that no one wants to pay more for energy or any other service, and we plan to request permission from the Florida Public Service Commission to recover Hurricane Irma recovery costs over the next few years to keep the impact on electric rates more manageable for FPL customers.”
The proposal comes as legislative committees and the Public Service Commission begin looking at hurricane preparedness and restoration issues after Irma knocked out electricity to millions of Florida homes and businesses.
But those reviews are unlikely to affect FPL’s ability to recoup hurricane costs from customers. A rate agreement approved last year by the Public Service Commission makes clear that the utility is able to recover costs of restoring power after hurricanes.
Irma was significantly more expensive for FPL than Hurricane Matthew, which hammered parts of the East Coast in 2016, though it never made landfall in the state.
The Public Service Commission in February approved a request from FPL to recover $318.5 million in costs related to Matthew.
FPL, the state’s largest utility, began collecting the Matthew costs in March and is expected to finish in February 2018. For a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, Matthew has added $3.36 to monthly bills.
Under the new proposal, that same FPL customer would start paying $4 a month in Irma charges in March 2018 — effectively seeing a 64-cent increase because of the end of the Matthew charges in February, according to the utility. The monthly amount would increase to about $5.50 in 2019, with the storm costs expected to be paid off by the end of 2020.
The utility industry commonly uses a 1,000-kilowatt-hour residential bill as a measuring stick. But many residential customers use more power than that each month, and rate impacts on businesses are measured differently.
A formal request to recover the Irma costs had not been posted on the Public Service Commission website as of Thursday morning.
–Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida
I think it’s total BS they get away with this crap. Every other business has to profits in reserve for unlikely events and costs. Being able to shove all the profits to their shareholders and then bill us more after the fact is completely bogus. We need to get more competition. If you’re FPL a monopoly is a great thing, but for us who pay the bills, it sucks.
Andrew survivor says
I do not remember them raising the bill after Hurricane Andrew and their complete infrastructure was gone. No poles, no lines, nothing left
The Sun shines bright most days. Use solar and sell it back to the utility. Its an alternative to being subject to monopolistic practices by the one trick pony that is FPL.
Absolutely ridiculous!! It’s their JOB to restore power, it’s ha4d for me to afford any price hike
What about their Multi Billion in profits over the last few years? What about insurance money? What about the money they didn’t give back yet when they were supposed to build a new Nuclear Power Plant and didn’t? What about FEMA money and Government disaster grants and/or loans? We already pay too much to Florida Flicker and Flash for the amount of outages we have to put up with. Any other business would absorb these costs when they are as profitable a business as FPL.
Or you could dress warmer while indoors in winter, and vice versa in warm weather; have a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal, etc, etc. You don’t pay for energy you don’t use – be a conservative – and conserve.
how much electricty use is wasted everyday
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein
Precisely what happens when we “outsource” VITAL services to “for profit” companies! We are experiencing the “dark side of Capitalism” = GREED!
You just told it like it is…Sherry. Greed is what is destroying our middle class and much worse our poor and the very essence of our country.
Our power, utility and phone, internet and TV bills pretty soon each of the three will cost as much as a mortgage to buy a house and we just shut up, bend and pay!
Chris A Pickett says
I’m thinking I should charge them for damages incurred to my electronics and appliances from spikes in their antiquated grid.
Just watch. . . the same thing will happen to “outsourcing” our schools to “for profit” companies! Those who erroneously believe that Capitalism solves “everything”, and that government should be abolished are complete fools! We are being “played” by the wealthy, and many are helping them to line their pockets! Meanwhile, our “middle class” is being destroyed, our environment polluted, and our kids are falling further and further behind in education. . . all in the name of trump’s Republican agenda!
BTW. . . rising prices for “necessities” for life like water and power= a “TAX” by any other name.
Meanwhile the tax CUTS for the wealthy. . . who don’t pay their fair share anyway. . . are speeding their way through a cowardly Congress!
FPL’s been making profits more years than not. FPL collected money for solar and then didn’t do what they said and kept the money. FPL needs to absorb and suck it up like everyone else who experienced losses. With so many people struggling to get back on their feel the last thing we need is any increases of any kind. We can’t make it now as it is. FPL should be crediting us for trucks not being here in our county resulting in extended outages and personal loses because we were without power longer than last year and this years storm wasn’t as bad.
Just don’t pay your power bills, your water bills, your cable bills, your taxes and see what happens. A lot of posters can talk big but in the end to avoid having your services cut we just keep on keeping on paying our over priced bills regardless if your wealthy , middle class or poor, democrat, republican or a different party affiliation . . We in the end, pay up.
Mr Boxler says
Of course Sherry. That is why water and sewer bills (and the impact fees associated with connecting to them) are SO reasonable in the region.
Government solves everything, especially for those that are employed by IT.
another vet says
how come they never lower rates when they have a banner year
Wishful Thinking says
Doesn’t the Florida Public Service Commission have to approve such requests?
If so we need to throw their sorry , greedy asses out together with the crooks who appointed them . Could that be our gov and his pals????
Solar POWER is the future. Florida Power just doesn’t want to have to force it’s shareholders and CEO to get reduced payouts because of their ‘additional’ costs, so they charge ALL of us MORE money, the greedy jerks.
John dolan says
This suck butt outfit is owned by a PR FIRM. They are only concerned about profits and keeping us slaves to a grid from the 1950’s. We should run them and their guaranteed profits out of town on a greased rail. My power goes on and off all the time. This is ruining my computerized appliances.
Well you all can hope for Duke energy to invade Palm Coast. So when the next hurricane passes by you will be out of power for 3 weeks instead of 1 one week, you choose, and still get an increase in rates.
Or go back to candle power and paper handheld fans!!! IJS