The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today kept rates stable for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers, approving an agreement recognizing $1.375 billion in Hurricane Irma restoration costs. To help keep future restoration costs in check, the PSC also approved the use of new technology to track utility storm expenses.
The agreement—between FPL, the Office of Public Counsel (OPC), representing consumers, and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group—establishes new guidelines to better monitor outside contractors’ costs and expenses. Tracking storm restoration expenses is often difficult due to the large number of contractors needed to quickly restore power after major storms. This year, FPL will start using a smart-phone app to record the time and expenses of all crews and will expand the app’s uses in 2020.
“This agreement benefits the public interest. FPL customer bills will not increase to cover Hurricane Irma costs,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Customers will also benefit from FPL’s new storm cost tracking app. With closer monitoring, future restoration costs will be reduced.”
In May 2019, the PSC determined that FPL’s savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) were within the terms of FPL’s last rate case settlement. The PSC approval allowed TCJA savings to replenish a utility account tapped to pay for Hurricane Irma recovery costs and avoid a potential surcharge on customer bills.
OPC and other parties had questioned FPL’s $1.375 billion in restoration costs for Hurricane Irma. Today’s agreement approval avoids a PSC hearing scheduled to further review FPL’s storm expenses and resolves all issues in the case.
Hurricane Irma hit Florida on September 10, 2017, causing more than 4.4 million FPL customers to lose power. Workers from 30 states and Canada helped FPL restore electricity.
FPL serves nearly 5 million customer accounts in Florida.
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