FPL bills might dip $9 in ’10
BY JOHN DORSCHNER
Florida Power & Light customers are likely to see their monthly bills drop by an additional $4 a month next year because of the continuing decline in fuel prices.
The utility had said earlier that it expected fuel charges to drop by $5 next year, but on Thursday it filed papers with the Public Service Commission that it’s anticipating overcharges in fuel during 2009, which would mean an additional decline of $4 — for a total savings of about $9 a month for the customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours.
By state law, energy charges are simply passed through to customers. FPL takes no profit or loss on them. They fluctuate as the utility’s fuel charges fluctuate.
The utility is in the midst of hearings before the Public Service Commission to seek a 31 percent increase in its base rates, which would add about $12 a month to the bill of the customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month.
Because of the reduced fuel charges, FPL said Thursday that even with a rate increase the typical customer bill can be expected to decline from $109 in December to $100 in January 2010, with PSC approval.
Consumer advocates have been quick to point out that energy charges can fluctuate from year to year, while base rate changes remain constant.