Duke Energy Florida is reviewing options to help customers adversely affected by changes in its meter-reading system and may have an announcement as early as today about possible remedies.
"As we have said for the last week, we have heard from our customers, legislators and the Public Service Commission and apologize for the unintended consequences that have resulted in some customers having higher bills," said Sterling Ivey, a Duke spokesman.
Duke has been under fire since a Tampa Bay Times report last week detailed how a change in its meter-reading process has hurt some customers.
Duke is making changes to its meter-reading routes to make them more efficient. Those changes led the utility to temporarily extend as many as 267,000 customers' billing cycles, typically a month, by as many as 12 days. Customer bills revealed additional charges in some cases of $100 or more for the extended days and, for some, the additional days bumped them into a higher rate class.
That's because Duke charges customers $11.34 for every 100 kilowatt hours of usage up to 1,000 kilowatt hours. But above that, it charges $13.70 for every 100 kilowatt hours. That's before taxes and other government fees.
The PSC has asked Duke to appear before the commission Sept. 4 to answer questions about the meter issue.
Contact Ivan Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2332. Follow @Consumers_Edge.