Nuclear Plant Cost Recovery Meeting

When Duke Energy or Florida Power and Light customers get a bill, they are being charged for a nuclear power plants that doesn’t even exist. A 7-year-old law has allowed major utility companies to collect more than a billion for the non-existent facilities.

“We have to implement the law. We’re not the lawmakers; we’re just the implementers of the law,” said Mark Futrell.

Wednesday morning, the Florida Public Service Commission staff met with Duke and F-P & L to talk about how much customers should be forced to pay.

“New nuclear units in Turkey Point, we anticipate over the life of those units, would save 58-billion dollars in fuel costs,” said Peter Robins.

After public outrage, state lawmakers tweaked the Nuclear Cost Recovery law this spring, limiting how long utilities can collect the monthly fee. Duke and F-P-L opposed the bill.

If the bill lawmakers passed is signed by the governor, it’s likely to change how both sides proceed with the case; however, neither side is sure of the changes.

The Office of the Public Counsel, which represents customers, says it will present consumer testimony as the meetings and hearing proceed.

“I think customers generally really don’t like paying for projects that don’t come into fruition,” said Charles Rehwinkel.

The legislation on its way to the Governor requires more review by the Public Service Commission, but still does not require the fees to be refunded if new nuclear plants are never built.

It’s expected the customer testimony will be filed in the second part of June.