TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In a slight adjustment for Florida residents, Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light announced plans to reduce how much they want to raise rates in April and May. Previous reporting showed the companies planned to have increases between 10% to 20% higher per month, according to company requests with the Florida Public Service Commission.
In January, all three power companies announced plans and filed petitions to recover costs for power for several different purposes, from storm damage recovery to fuel costs of natural gas.
Either way, power bills will go up for consumers again in April, but the amount may not be as high as initially requested.
In fact, Duke Energy Florida released a statement Monday saying it had amended its plan to help customer bills be as much as $8.50 less per month, based on their usage.
“Duke Energy wanted to take immediate steps to provide cost relief for our customers. We understand some families are facing financial pressures and encourage anyone who needs assistance to reach out to us,” Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president, said.
FPL, in similar fashion, said Wednesday it planned to reduce rate hikes it will institute in May, with total savings to its customers in Florida to reach $379 million, reducing charges to residential customers by $4.43 per month instead, though December.
“This is good news for customers,” Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of FPL, said in a statement. “We recognize that sharp inflation is impacting our customers and that every dollar counts which is why we are pleased to provide relief to customers as fuel prices have moderated.”
FPL also said they planned to offset other increased rates through a $1 billion decrease on fuel charges, though it still seeks $1.3 billion for storm restoration costs from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, and $1.1 billion for fuel costs. Previous fuel cost recovery was estimated to be $2.1 billion, according to a statement from FPL.
There is no news at this time about whether the Tampa Electric Company will follow suit, at least as far as its requests for rate hikes to cover previous increases to the costs of natural gas to power their grids.
All three of the power companies are still in the process of getting their rate plans approved by the PSC, with votes to come in March on the various plans. Either way, the increases for rates mean direct costs to Florida consumers, whether it’s intended to pay for power grid repairs, or higher resource costs for fuel. None of the power companies in question are public, instead all private and for-profit companies, as previously covered.
The PSC has approved multiple previous rate hike requests over the past few years, though some were adjusted. However, none of the previous requests were voted down by the commissioners.