NEW PORT RICHEY — More than 100 Duke Energy Florida customers turned out to a town hall meeting Thursday, asking how to best challenge the utility that changed billing cycles and charged them for a nuclear plant that never came.
Focus on the Legislature, said two former state senators.
"Shame on all of you if you don't, between now and the next legislative session, if you don't make an appointment to go see your legislator," said former state Sen. Mike Fasano, now the Pasco County tax collector....
State regulators approved requests by Tampa Electric to lower its residential customers' rates by an average of $1.14 to $108.47 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours beginning Jan. 1.
Commercial and industrial customers' rates will drop by 1.7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, under the proposals approved by the Public Service Commission.
Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, sought a decrease in its rates as a result of lower fuel and other electricity production costs....
Still hoping for a refund from Duke Energy Florida for the $3.45 its customers pay each month for a nuclear plant the utility decided not to build?
Don't expect Duke to fork over the money.
But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is offering at least 500 Duke customers what the utility has not: Show your electric bill at a scheduled "pitchfork" protest at noon Oct. 29 outside the power company's St. Petersburg headquarters and get $3.45 or a free box lunch....
Tampa-based TECO Energy announced an agreement Monday to sell its coal subsidiary in a $170 million deal that is expected to close by the end of the year.
TECO, the parent company of Tampa Electric, said Cambrian Coal Corp. agreed to purchase the coal operation, which includes coal production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Cambrian is part of the Booth Energy Group, a company that produces coal using the underground and surface mining methods in the central Appalachia coal fields of Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia....
First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks wasn't saving as much as it could.
This wasn't about souls. It was about something more earthly: electric bills and money.
The trouble was Duke Energy Florida and its predecessors kept the church on a higher rate than necessary, as the utility has with many of its other business customers. In addition, some churches such as First Baptist and other nonprofits have been charged taxes, though they are tax-exempt....
Florida's investor-owned utilities have a new, unexpected opponent: the tea party.
Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, plans to push for more solar in the Sunshine State as she has in Georgia. Her ultimate goal is to challenge the monopoly control of Florida's major utilities.
This month, the Georgia resident launched the group Conservatives for Energy Freedom, with the first chapter in Florida. ...
Duke Energy Florida's non-residential customers don't always get the rate that will result in the cheapest bill.
Businesses can choose a rate based in part on the time of day the company uses the most electricity.
Experts in utility rate-making say some Duke business customers — including churches — don't realize they can get their electricity for less, and Duke doesn't automatically give the cheapest rate....
Standing with a giant caricature posing as Gov. Rick Scott, about a four-dozen protesters gathered outside the governor’s St. Petersburg campaign office and called on him to return $1.2 million in donations from Duke Energy.
The group, led by billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate political committee, called the donations to Scott “dirty money” that they aruge was wrongfully taken from Duke ratepayers for nuclear projects that never materialized....
Florida is one of the five states in the nation with the highest cellphone taxes, according to a report released Wednesday.
The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank that has been largely backed by conservatives, listed the Sunshine State fourth in federal, state and local taxes and fees for wireless service with a rate of 22.38 percent.
Washington state led the list with a tax rate of 24.42 percent, followed by Nebraska at 24.31 percent and New York at 23.56 percent. Illinois rounded out the top five at 21.63 percent....
Tens of thousands of Florida's clean energy jobs could be at risk if state regulators approve proposals by investor-owned utilities to gut their energy savings goals.
A new report set for release today, dubbed "Clean Jobs Florida," found that Florida employs about 75,000 in the energy efficiency field, which ranges from LED bulbs to solar hot water heaters. That could make the clean energy sector vulnerable if cuts are approved....
TALLAHASSEE — In the face of growing public outcry, state regulators on Thursday ordered Duke Energy Florida to credit $54 million to customers for nuclear equipment that was never produced for the now canceled Levy County nuclear plant.
The decision was an unusual move by the Public Service Commission in that the panel went against its staff, which opposed the refund.
In what was a momentous day for the commission, the PSC also approved Duke's plan to build a $1.5 billion natural gas plant in Citrus County that would come online in 2018....
Lawmakers fired some of their harshest criticism at Duke Energy Florida on Tuesday, promising legislation that could ban political contributions from utilities and end some "unconscionable" billing practices.
Led by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, Pinellas County's most powerful legislator, several Republican lawmakers and political candidates gathered for a news conference at a Sonny's Bar-B-Q in Largo to highlight what they said was the latest example of abuse by Duke....
In a pivotal week for Duke Energy Florida, state lawmakers are targeting the utility with a series of proposals to bolster consumer protection and prevent unbridled spending of ratepayer dollars.
State Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, on Monday announced the latest effort that would end the increasingly controversial "nuclear advance fee" that allows utilities to collect from ratepayers for new plants before they produce power....
Tampa Bay area lawmakers urged state regulators Friday to order a $54 million credit to Duke Energy Florida customers for nuclear components the utility bought for the canceled Levy County nuclear plant that were never produced.
In a letter to the Public Service Commission, Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said any delay in returning the money to customers as requested by consumer advocates is "unacceptable."...
Consumer advocates thought it was a just action on the part of state regulators: Order Duke Energy Florida to refund customers $54 million for nuclear components the utility bought for the canceled Levy County nuclear plant that were never produced.
It's a small portion of the $1.5 billion that angry customers are paying for the defunct project, but a credit nonetheless.
Duke wants customers to get the credit — but only if the company can win back the money in a lawsuit against the contractor. Until then, Duke says, regulators should not take any action....