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Florida utility looking to charge customers $1.3 billion for Hurricane Irma-related costs

Executives with Florida Power & Light Co. said they plan to ask regulators for a $1.3 billion rate increase to cover costs incurred from Hurricane Irma. 

That increase translates into about an additional $5 a month for an average residential customer’s bill. 

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If the Public Service Commission approves the increase, customers will start seeing the storm surcharge in March, FPL chief financial officer John Ketchum said Thursday.

"We believe that the improvement in FPL’s storm restoration efforts shows that our ongoing transmission and distribution investments, together with our preparation and coordinated response, are providing significant value to our customers,” Ketchum said.

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Hurricane Irma’s size and damage prompted the Public Service Commission to solicit comments from customers and other experts to assess the  storm readiness of utilities in the state

Since 2006, Florida Power & Light has spent $3 billion on storm-hardening efforts meant to reduce the damage to utility poles and the amount of time customers are without power following a storm. 

The utility has not yet filed a formal request with the Public Service Commission to recover costs for Hurricane Irma. 

Florida Power & Light also asked the PSC for overall rate increases in excess of $1 billion in 2008 and 2016.

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