Florida PSC directs Duke Energy to return $54 million to customers
- The Florida Public Service Commission voted to direct Duke Energy to return $54 million to customers for equipment that was never received for the scuttled Levy Nuclear Project.
- Customers are paying $3.45 per month for the project that will never be built, and that charge would have extended until 2016. Because of PSC's decision, the charge will now drop off around the middle of next year.
- The PSC also authorized Duke's proposed $1.5-billion Citrus County combined cycle natural gas power plant, designed to supply 1,640 MW by the end of 2018.
"We need to pause here and reflect on what is fair, just and in the public interest," said PSC Commissioner Julie Brown said of the decision. "Customers shouldn't have to pay for something that was never delivered on."
The PSC's decision was a little more unusual than the three-member panel made it sound. The vote went against a recommendation by commission staff, The Tampa Bay Times reports.
“The commission is cognizant of the impact of this decision on Duke’s ratepayers who have carried a significant financial load without the benefit they thought they would receive. I believe that this result is fair and reasonable," said Commissioner Ronald Brisé.
The proposal for a new power plant has drawn the ire of green activists, the Tampa Bay Times reports, who say spending $1.5 billion on a gas-fired plant is not the best option when so many utilities are doing more with efficiency plans. The plant will provide enough energy to power approximately 110,000 residential homes and according to the PSC is projected to result in savings of $477 million to $1.2 billion when compared to other alternatives.
- Tampa Bay Times PSC orders Duke to refund $54 million to customers
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