TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s top power companies are asking the state to approve a set of rate hikes in January, and April to offset so-called ‘under-recovered’ fuel costs as a result of the war in Ukraine.

The proposed rate hikes would impact customers of Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co., and Florida Public Utilities Co.

8 On Your Side knows the financial toll families could face if approved. Investigator Mahsa Saeidi is closely tracking the proposals.

During a two-day hearing in Tallahassee last week, representatives from Duke, TECO, FPL, and FPU made their case, passing the blame on the Russia-Ukraine war which has caused a significant spike in natural gas prices worldwide.

The first rate hike would likely affect your January bill. A second hike could hit your bill in April. This would be to collect so-called ‘under-recovered’ fuel costs.

The Florida Public Service Commission is the regulatory authority over utilities and will ultimately decide whether to approve or deny the request.

The Florida Office of Public Counsel is the agency charged with advocating for you.

OPC told 8 On Your Side, if you use on average 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity, you could be paying anywhere from $3 to $16 more a month starting in January, depending on your provider.

This year, companies spent billions on gas. By law, they’re entitled to get that money back, but so far, in 2022, the four providers did not collect their costs.

The companies are now asking to start collecting this cost on April 1, 2023. The commission told the parties to file briefs and come back in December.

“We’ll set 10 minutes for each party to be able to do their closing arguments,” said Chairman Andrew Giles Fay. “We’ll take a recommendation from staff and make a decision on the item at that time.”

The companies told the commission they want to collect the money over the course of one to two years. That way, it will have a less shocking impact on your bill.

Final arguments are set for Dec. 6, 2022. State commissioners will make a decision soon after that. 8 On Your Side let you know what the commission decides in December.

If you have a tip, email investigator Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com.