By Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
A fuel-cost reduction will bring some relief to Florida Power & Light customers who haven’t yet absorbed the impact of a big price hike approved in March and taking effect this month.
The state’s Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved a $494 million fuel charge reduction that will reduce typical 1,000 kWh monthly bills by an average $4.43, or 3.1%.
Most of FPL’s 5.5 million residential customers will see their bills fall from $144.38 to $139.95 from May to December.
Fuel charges are “pass-through” charges that FPL is required to increase or decrease if prices for fuel used in power generation changes significantly. Utilities must notify the PSC if the amount of money it recovers from customers for fuel exceeds or falls below 10%.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is the latest adjustment comes less than a month after the PSC approved 2022 storm recovery charges and fuel charge adjustments that raised monthly bills from $129.59 to $144.38 beginning in April — an increase of $14.79.
So with the reduction announced Tuesday, the net increase between March and May for that typical 1,000 kWh household will be $10.34.
The increases approved in early March were on top of annual cost increases built into the utility’s four-year rate plan approved in 2021 that guaranteed that customer bills would increase by 18.2% by 2025 regardless of costs associated with fuel or storm recovery.