The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today reduced costs for Duke Energy Florida, LLC (DEF) and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) customers, approving both companies’ settlement agreements to lower costs to restore electric service caused by damage from recent named storms.
As a result of the agreements, DEF and TECO customer bills will not increase due to storm restoration.
The agreements lower storm restoration costs and also establish standardized processes for future storm restoration activities and are signed by the Office of Public Counsel—representing all consumers--the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, the Florida Retail Federation, and White Springs Agricultural Chemicals (for DEF only).
DEF will use $484 million in savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover restoration costs for Hurricanes Irma and Nate and also replenish its hurricane reserve fund. TECO will use $91 million in TCJA savings to cover restoration costs for Tropical Storms Erika and Colin and Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, and Irma.
“These agreements are in the public interest because they reduce storm cost recovery for customers and implement processes and procedures that will continue to benefit customers,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Using TCJA savings is an effective solution to to handle restoration costs associated with several recent named storms that caused widespread damage and power outages.”
Storm restoration processes and procedures approved today include: established billing commitments with outside companies contracted to assist with storm response, limits on compensation for travel time and meal reimbursements, and a requirement to track work crews using GPS. The agreement also requires that any exceptions to these policies be documented and justified by the utilities.
DEF serves 1.8 million customers in Florida, and TECO serves about 765,000 customers in West Central Florida.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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