Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light are seeking to add a storm recovery fee to customer bills because of the historic damage caused by Hurricane Irma.
A Duke Energy spokesperson said as of now the fee will be about $5 a month on a typical bill, but that could change by the time the official filing happens, according to Spectrum Bay News 9.
FPL will request a surcharge equal to $4 a month starting in March 2018 to recoup costs from the hurricane. The charge would then increase to $5.50 a month in 2019. FPL officials expect that the surcharge, if approved, would go until the end of 2020, when the costs should be fully recovered.
Duke will file for the fee with the Florida Public Service Commission, which will decide whether or not to allow the add-on. If Duke’s fee is approved, it will stay on customers’ bills for three years, the outlet reports. FPL hasn’t filed for the surcharge with the commission yet.
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Duke sent out more than 12,000 line and field workers to restore power and had to rebuild parts of the system, in some cases.
But there’s the issue on how long it took the utility company to restore power. Both customers and state officials criticized the company with its lack of communication and failure to restore power within the promised time periods. More than 1.3 million of its 1.8 million customers had power outages because of Irma, and many spent over a week without power.
The criticism will likely be part of the discussion over approving the fee.
According to Duke Energy officials, it is the first storm recovery fee the company has requested since the 2004 and 2005 seasons.