Florida Power & Light announced it is dropping a plan to increase rates to pay for costs associated with Hurricane Irma.
The plan is being scrapped, FPL says, because of the new tax bill signed by President Donald Trump. The tax cuts will offset the $1.3 billion in overtime pay, repair costs and other expenses the company incurred during the hurricane.
In the original proposal, the storm recovery fee was going to add about $4 a month on a typical bill beginning in March. Then, it was to increase to $5.50 a month in 2019. FPL officials said at the time the extra charge would last until the end of 2020.
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But on Tuesday, FPL said that not only is the fee being dropped, customers also will see rates decrease on their bills.
Starting on March 1, customers will save about $3.35 on a typical 1,000-kwh bill, making the company’s bill approximately 15 percent lower than the state average and about 29 percent lower than the national average, according to FPL.
TECO hasn’t pulled its proposed storm recovery surcharge, but says it’s “evaluating the impact of federal tax reform” along with the surcharge to “determine customer rate impacts.”
Duke Energy communications manager Ann Varga says that if benefits are found from tax reform, the savings will be returned to the customers.
“Our customers are protected,” Varga said. “And any benefits found to be available from tax reform would flow back to customers consistent with the provisions in our settlement agreement.”