The Florida Public Service Commission next week should approve a plan by Duke Energy Florida that includes collecting $91.9 million from customers to cover costs related to Hurricane Idalia, according to the commission’s staff. Duke would pass along the costs in 2024.
To help cushion the blow to customers’ monthly bills, the utility also has proposed spreading out costs that it already is collecting for a series of earlier storms, such as Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole.
If the overall proposal is approved, Duke would collect $166.1 million in storm-related costs from customers in 2024.
The Public Service Commission in the past has allowed utilities to recoup storm-restoration costs from customers, and the issue was anticipated in a 2021 Duke rate settlement. The commission will take up the Duke proposal Dec. 5.
Duke in April began recovering what is expected to be $431.4 million for storm-related costs from hurricanes Ian, Nicole, Elsa, Eta and Isaias and Tropical Storm Fred.
Those costs were slated to be recovered over a year-long period through March 2024. But as part of the new proposal, the remaining costs from those earlier storms would be spread throughout 2024, rather than collected only during the first three months.
While the new Idalia costs also would be collected throughout 2024, spreading the earlier costs would help ease the impact on monthly bills.
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