By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 29, 2017
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WCTV) -- Duke Energy Florida has filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover from customers an estimated $381 million in costs associated with the company's response to Hurricane Irma.
In addition, the company is seeking to recover $132 million to replenish its storm reserve fund for use in responding to future storms. The company depleted the remaining $62 million in the reserve fund as part of its Hurricane Irma storm response.
Based on current estimates, Duke Energy Florida says residential customers will see an increase of $5.20 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill. Commercial and industrial customers will see an increase of around 2.5 to 6.6 percent, though bills will vary depending on other factors.
Under the current settlement agreement, the company is authorized to begin recovering both the storm impact and reserve replenishment 60 days after filing a petition with the FPSC.
The FPSC will review the proposed initial storm cost recovery surcharge within 60 days.
The charge will become effective with the first billing cycle for March 2018 and will continue through February 2021. The FPSC will then schedule a hearing process to review the final actual costs and adjust the billing rate if necessary. This will occur later in 2018.
“This past hurricane season impacted Florida significantly, from damaging homes and infrastructure to affecting agriculture and tourism. Duke Energy Florida understands the impact this filing has on both our residential and business customers,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We will continue making smart investments to significantly enhance service reliability throughout the year, including during storm season.”
Irma was a historic hurricane which caused widespread, devastating damage across the Southeast region.
In Florida, more than 12,000 line and field workers replaced approximately 1,800 distribution poles, 140 transmission poles and 1,100 transformers.