The Florida Public Service Commission approved proposed rules to carry out the law, which is expected to lead to residents and businesses paying more in their electric bills for storm-protection projects.
Utilities already have underground power lines in some areas, including Palm Coast. A key part of the law changes how underground power-line projects are financed, a change that could lead to more projects — but also higher bills for utility customers.
FPL alleged that the telecommunications company did not pay about $20 million owed for 2017 and 2018. The companies have had what is known as a joint-use agreement since 1975 that has allowed them to share poles.
The proposal, backed by Citizens for Energy Choices, calls for creating “competitive” electricity markets in which customers would have the right to choose electricity providers or to produce their own power.
The issue involves hundreds of millions of dollars a year in savings from a federal tax overhaul and an estimated $1.3 billion in costs of restoring power after the 2017 hurricane.
A key part of the bill would change the way underground power-line projects are financed, a change that could lead to more projects — but also higher bills for utility customers.
FPL over the years has shifted away from using coal and oil to fuel power plants and relies heavily on natural gas, nuclear and, increasingly, solar.
Florida Power & Light has asked state regulators to reject a petition that seeks to force the utility to refund as much as $736 million to customers and reduce base electric rates.
FPL is inviting Palm Coast government to “convert” more overhead power lines to underground lines, but the city would have to assume most of the cost. Council members are cool to the idea.
FPL wants to bill customers across the state, including Flagler, $206 million in recovery costs for its own polluting mistake at its Turkey Point plant in South Florida.