Without comment, the state Public Service Commission on Thursday approved Duke Energy Florida’s request to recoup $16.7 million from customers stemming from the utility’s costs in responding to two tropical storms last year.
Duke residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay an additional 55 cents a month starting in August. The charge is slated to remain in place for a year.
The utility industry uses 1,000 kilowatt hours as a benchmark, though actual electricity consumption varies widely. Utilities typically are allowed to recover storm-related costs from customers, though they are required to show that the costs were justified.
Duke filed the request in May because of costs related to Tropical Storm Eta in November and Tropical Storm Isaias in late July. Both storms had been hurricanes before weakening as they approached Florida.
Duke said in the filing that the storms caused power outages. Eta, which came ashore near Cedar Key and crossed the state after earlier causing damage in South Florida, had the larger impact.
Duke in its filings noted that the costs to the utility reached $20.1 million, but the total was reduced by $3.4 million to offset “over-recovery” of costs from 2019’s Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Nestor.