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Public service commission approves one rate hike for FPL, denies second

BY DAN HILDEBRAN

Monitor Editor

Florida’s Public service commission approved a $113 million base rate increase for Florida Power and Light on Jan. 10.

The increase allows the utility to recover costs for upgrades to its Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear power plants.  The PSC said the base rate adjustment would result in a $1.14 a month increase for a typical 1,000 kWh residential bill.

The state agency also denied a request by FPL for a tariff on customers who do not have smart meters.

The utility said it has installed over 4.5 million of the new meters for residential and small business customers, and that the new devices will allow it to gather usage and billing data without sending a meter reader to customers’ buildings.  It added that the devices, which are equipped with a two-way radio transmitter, also allows customers to monitor their power use on a daily basis.

FPL wanted to charge customers who did not have one of the new meters a onetime charge of $105 and a monthly fee of $16.  It said the charges were necessary to cover labor, transportation and other costs of sending meter readers to customers with old meters.

The PSC said it disagreed with FPL’s cost calculations and denied the request.  It added, however, that it would likely approve a similar request if FPL asked for a onetime charge of $95 and a monthly fee of $13.

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