Tag Archives: Florida legislature

Lawsuit targets Duke Energy Florida, FPL over higher rates for nuclear power projects


by Robert Trigaux
TAMPA 2/23/16 — A class action lawsuit was filed against Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light alleging the monopoly electricity providers force millions of Florida customers to pay unlawful charges in connection with their electricity rates to fund the companies’ nuclear power plant projects, some of which have been abandoned.

The suit was brought Monday by the law firm Hagens Berman in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. It accuses Duke Energy Florida and FPL of overcharging through unconstitutional price hikes that increase customers’ electricity bills in order to fund nuclear construction costs.

The issue ranks among the most controversial in recent Florida history, forcing customers of monopoly utilities to take on the financial risk of building nuclear power plants, projects prone to extreme cost overruns. Such utility projects historically have been financed by banks and Wall Street, with the risks borne by Duke and FPL shareholders, not by ratepayers.

Read the whole article: Tampa Bay Times

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Duke Energy proposal could cost customers more in the long run

Penn_Ivan_wpby Ivan Penn
3/2/15 TAMPA — Duke Energy Florida on Monday said it wants to suspend most of the remaining nuclear charge on customers’ bills for the canceled Levy County nuclear plant until it resolves a half-billion lawsuit over the project’s contract.

The proposal would give customers at least temporary relief from a $3.45 charge on the average bill each month, beginning around June 1, about six months earlier than expected.

But there’s a catch: While the proposal, if approved as filed, would save customers money in the short term, they might face far greater costs in the long run.

The proposal involves some complex maneuvering by the utility. At issue is Duke’s lawsuit with the contractor for the Levy project, Westinghouse Electric.

Read the whole article: Tampa Bay Times


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Duke Energy says it will drop nuclear fee off Florida bills

Nuclear-power-costs3/2/15 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – One of Florida’s largest power companies says it will go ahead and drop a nuclear power fee now charged to customers.

State regulators last October ordered Duke Energy Florida to refund $54 million it collected from ratepayers to pay for a failed nuclear plant in Levy County.

Duke on Monday filed a request that asks state regulators to approve a proposal to drop an average $3.45 a month charge from bills. A spokesman for Duke said the charge could be removed as soon as this summer.

Duke announced in 2013 it was abandoning plans to build the plant in Levy County on Florida’s Gulf coast.

Some of Duke’s billing practices have created an outcry. There is a push during this year’s legislative session to place additional restrictions on utilities.

Read the whole article: MyFoxOrlando.com


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Coalition of conservatives, liberals fight for more Florida solar power

b4s_solarpetition011415_12497090_8colby Ivan Penn
TAMPA 1/13/15 — Imagine the Christian Coalition and the tea party joining hands with liberals and environmentalists.

Add to the Kumbaya moment Libertarians and Florida’s retail business federation.

They all plan to unite this morning for a news conference in Tallahassee about their campaign to allow those in Florida who generate electricity from the sun to sell that power directly to other consumers. Right now, that’s illegal here.

The coalition, which has dubbed itself Floridians for Solar Choice, has crafted a petition that was approved for circulation last month. They’ll need 683,149 signatures by Feb. 1, 2016, to get the question on the ballot for the 2016 election.

For some it’s ideological. For others, such as the retailers, it’s pure economics.

Read the whole article: Tampa Bay Times

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Republican-led group launches ballot petition to boost solar power in Florida

solar panelsby Ivan Penn
1/6/15 Tampa — Backers of broader use of solar energy in Florida have quietly launched a petition for the 2016 ballot that would allow those who generate electricity from the sun to sell the power directly to other consumers.

If the measure passes, solar proponents argue that it would open up Florida’s solar energy market, which has largely stagnated for years. The measure would allow business or property owners to produce up to 2 megawatts of solar power and then sell that power directly to others, such as tenants, without having to go through a utility.

Read the whole article: Tampa Bay Times

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Democrat first to try eliminating nuclear cost recovery this session


by Michael Hinman
11/25/14 FLORIDA — A Tallahassee lawmaker is taking on one major campaign issue from the state’s mid-term elections right away, proposing a bill that would eliminate the ability of utility companies like Duke Energy Corp. to collect money for its failed nuclear plant projects.

State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, filed H.B. 4001 last Friday. If passed, it would repeal the nuclear cost recovery statute that has put Duke in line to collect more than $3.2 billion from customers through a $3.45 monthly surcharge. It’s supposed to pay for the now-closed Crystal River nuclear facility, as well as a cancelled nuclear power plant in Levy County.

The nuclear cost recovery statute was one of the big issues that affected the governor’s race, as well as some local races, including the one state Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, eventually won. Burgess was forced to defend a $1,000 direct donation from Duke during an October candidate forum, as well as $2,000 of indirect support from Duke through the Republican Party of Florida.

Read the whole article: The Laker – Lutz News

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