Hurricane Irma romped Duke Energy’s coverage area across Florida, and because of that, the company says it needs customers to ante up a little more on their bills for next several years.
The company reportedly wants customers to pay $400 million in storm costs, as well as help restore Duke’s $132 million storm reserve fund. For most customers the additional fee will be about $5 a month, a spokesperson with the company told News 13.
However, pending the Florida Public Service Commission’s decision on whether it will let the utility company be able to file for the fee, those charges are subject to change.
If the commission approves the filing, the fee would be on customers’ bills for a three-year period.
Duke Energy has more than 660,000 customers in Central Florida, with about 1.8 million customers statewide. More than two-thirds of the utility company’s customers lost power during Hurricane Irma. Some customers were without power for over a week.
During Hurricane Irma’s aftermath, as the recovery effort was underway, many residents throughout Central Florida expressed frustration with the company’s abysmal success at turning the lights back on across the Sunshine State, as well as a lack of communication on Duke Energy's part.
In a statement dating back to September, Harry Sideris, president of Duke Energy Florida, apologized to their customers for not meeting expectations, saying, “They expect and deserve better from us.”
If approved, this will be the first storm recovery fee the utility company has sought from its customers since hurricanes dating back to 2004 and 2005.