The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has reduced the 2016 fuel and capacity cost recovery factors, lowering customer bills in April for utility subsidiaries of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK).
The action was taken March 1 concerning Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy Florida (DEF) recovery.
FPL requested PSC approval to reduce customer rates to reflect lower projected natural gas prices and to coincide with the in-service date of its new Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center next month.
The 1,200-MW Port Everglades project in Broward County is scheduled to enter commercial operation around April 1.
The approved adjustments save customers $1.65 a month on a 1,000-kilowatt hour (kWh) residential bill compared to current rates.
DEF’s fuel cost reduction is also primarily due to lower projected natural gas prices. Residential bills will decrease by $5.83 per month, from current rates, beginning in April for a 1,000 kWh monthly electric bill.
As for Duke Energy Florida, it’s prepared to break ground on a 1,640-MW, combined-cycle, gas-fired in Citrus County. The project will be located alongside Duke’s Crystal River generation complex, which includes coal power as well as the now-retired Crystal River 3 nuclear plant.
The fuel and capacity cost component of customers’ bills is set for each calendar year, but mid-course corrections are used when a utility’s costs increase or decrease significantly in the interim. Under Commission rules, a utility must notify the PSC when it expects an under- or over-recovery greater than 10 percent, although lesser mid-course corrections are allowed.
FPL’s and DEF’s current fuel factors were set by the PSC during the November 2015 cost recovery clause hearing.