- Duke Energy Florida has apologized for higher bills mistakenly sent to thousands of customers, and plans to issue credits.
- The problem stemmed from changes designed to make Duke's meter reading schedules more efficient.
- The Florida Public Service Commission had been set to discuss Duke's rerouting program at a Sept. 4.
Duke Energy Florida was trying to make its meter-reading routes more efficient, but the changes ultimately led to a temporary extension in about 267,000 customers' billing cycles. Some cycles were extended as much as 12 days, and customers used more power and were bumped to a higher rate.
The Tampa Bay Times broke the story last week, and the ensuing backlash prompted Duke to issue an apology. The utility said it would assist customers whose cycles had been extended until refunds were made.
Regulators had been set to question Duke about the issue at a Sept. 4 meeting, but the Times report said they may be reconsidering.
PSC Chairman Art Graham issued a statement saying “the intended purpose of the rerouting project is well within the good business practices we expect from utilities, but the unintended consequences were not. The negative billing effects on some customers had to be fixed, and with the action announced today, Duke Energy Florida has stepped up and fixed it."