Customers in Florida to receive $5M refund from utility due to nuclear plant outages

The Florida Public Service Commission has given its approval to a settlement that enables Florida Power & Light to offer its customers a reimbursement.

FPL has agreed to refund $5 million to its customers after they were erroneously billed for “replacement” power expenses during the outages at the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants from 2020 to 2022.

According to the filings submitted to the PSC, the $5 million credit, along with the interest, will be factored into FPL’s fuel calculations during the next reset. State regulators had previously recommended a refund of over $11 million due to mismanagement, which resulted in the shutdown of more than 40 power plants, based on an agency audit in February.

The Office of Public Counsel, which represents customers, has formally requested the PSC to approve an agreement between the OPC and FPL to resolve the issue during a prehearing statement.

According to Trierweiler, the customers and the utility both benefit from the outcome. Not only do customers get the advantage of recovering $5 million in replacement power costs, but they also benefit from the improved nuclear fleet provided by FPL for Florida. This benefit has been acknowledged in the staff management audit from 2021 until now.

According to Trierweiler, customers benefit greatly from the high level of performance as they receive cost-effective, efficient, and carbon-neutral nuclear power. He emphasized that this not only improves the reliability of the utility’s service but also helps maintain FPL’s electric rates as the lowest among all investor-owned companies in Florida.

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Valérie Trierweiler emphasized that FPL’s prompt and transparent approach to dealing with power outages undeniably played a crucial role in restoring its nuclear fleet to peak performance.

In order to ensure the efficient operation of the utility and deliver savings to customers, a follow-up staff management audit has been agreed upon. Trierweiler emphasized the importance of conducting audits to maintain the utility’s effectiveness, with the next audit scheduled for no earlier than 2030.

“The future audit serves as a beacon, shining a light on the horizon, reminding us of the need for constant vigilance in monitoring performance metrics,” emphasized Trierweiler. “This reminder further reinforces FPL’s unwavering dedication to maintaining and enhancing power plant performance at the highest level, ultimately benefiting our valued customers.”

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