Duke Energy seeks to recoup higher fuel costs

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pointing to higher-than-expected fuel costs, Duke Energy Florida has filed a proposal that could lead to recouping about $200 million from customers.

The proposal, filed last week, is similar to a request that Duke filed in April seeking a mid-year increase in customer bills because of unanticipated fuel costs. The state Public Service Commission turned down that request in June.

Fuel such as natural gas and coal makes up a large portion of electric bills, with utilities typically going before the Public Service Commission each fall to get approval for fuel costs, which are then passed through to customers.

In denying the mid-year increase for Duke, the Public Service Commission effectively put off a decision about whether the utility should be able to recoup the higher-than-anticipated costs. In June, the commission raised questions about Duke’s changing forecasts. The filing last week seeks what is known as a “true-up” of $195.5 million in fuel costs and $5.1 million in other costs, the document said.

A hearing is scheduled in October