ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Duke Energy Florida says that they are seeking storm cost recovery for Hurricane Irma.
The company filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to recover from customers an estimated $381 million in costs associated with the company's response to September's Hurricane Irma in Florida.
The company says the yare also seeking $132 million to replenish its storm reserve fund for use in response to future storms. The company depleted the remaining $62 million in the reserve fund as part of its Hurricane Irma storm response.
Duke Energy Florida believes that, assuming a three-year recovery period, residential customers will see an increase of $5.20 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill. Spreading the recovery over a three-year period will help reduce the monthly impact to customers.
However, they acknowledge that commercial and industrial customers will see an increase of approximately 2.5 to 6.6 percent, though bills will vary depending on a number of 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.
Duke Energy Florida says that 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. However, utilities united and battled back with an unprecedented response.
Duke Energy crews and contractors traveled to Florida from as far as Canada to get 1.3 million customers restored as quickly and safely as possible.
In Florida, more than 12,000 line and field workers replaced approximately 1,800 distribution poles, 140 transmission poles and 1,100 transformers.
Duke Energy restored power to more than 75 percent of customers in just three days and 99 percent within eight days.