Florida Power & Light will keep rates stable despite high costs of hurricane restoration

Published on July 11, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an agreement with Florida Power & Light Company that will not result in rates hikes stemming from Hurricane Irma restoration costs.

Hurricane Irma caused more than 4.4 million FPL customers to lose power when it hit Florida on Sept. 10, 2017. The cost to do so was around $1.375 billion. The PSC allowed FPL to use savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to replenish a utility account tapped to pay for Hurricane Irma recovery costs. This, in turn, will allow them to keep rates stable and avoid a surcharge on customer bills.

The agreement sets new guidelines and promotes the use of technology to track storm expenses and monitor costs paid to contractors.

“This agreement benefits the public interest. FPL customer bills will not increase to cover Hurricane Irma costs,” PSC Chairman Art Graham said. “Customers will also benefit from FPL’s new storm cost tracking app. With closer monitoring, future restoration costs will be reduced.”

Workers from 30 states and Canada helped FPL restore electricity in the region after Irma. Tracking storm restoration expenses is often difficult because of the large number of contractors that are required to quickly restore power after these types of storms. To remedy this, FPL will start using a smart-phone app to record the time and expenses of all crews.