About 3,000 Bright House Networks customers saw their checking accounts take an unexpected hit: The telecom debited their accounts three times this week for one month's payment.
The company discovered the error Tuesday when Bright House found that its third party vendor, Bill to Pay, incorrectly processed customers' checks that had been mailed in for payment.
"There was a problem with the check processing procedure," said Joe Durkin, a Bright House spokesman. "If customers find that they've had this happen to them, they should contact their bank first or Bright House Networks."...
Duke Energy's collective bargaining contract with 1,800 electrical workers in Florida expired this week, prompting a federal review of the shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant in case of a strike.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced late Tuesday that it will perform an inspection of Duke's strike contingency plans for Crystal River.
Though Duke's collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 433 expired at midnight Monday, the contract contains a provision for a 60-day "good faith" negotiation period....
For the second year in a row, Duke Energy has paid only part of its property tax bill in Citrus County.
This time, the state's second-largest utility paid just under $22 million of the $62.5 million the county said it owed. The move comes a year after Duke, the county's largest single taxpayer, paid just $19 million of its $34 million appraisal.
The county, anticipating Duke's low payment, raised the millage rate by 30 percent, which will cost a resident with a $100,000 home about $13 a year. ...
ORLANDO — Bubba McDonald is a half-full kind of guy.
Where Florida utilities and state leaders see skies that are partly cloudy and too dim for solar power, he envisions potential.
That optimism led the Georgia utility regulator to push his state toward the ranks of the Top 5 in utility-scale solar energy, along with California, Arizona, New Jersey and Nevada — and far ahead of Florida....
Congresswoman Kathy Castor pledged Monday "to raise the profile" of the state's need to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
In the hourlong meeting with elected officials and a growing coalition of grass roots groups, Castor said Florida continues to trail more states when it comes to energy policy.
Castor, D-Tampa, said there needs to be "greater pressure on our utilities … greater pressure on our Public Service Commission" to deploy more solar power and implement more energy efficiency strategies....
Citrus County suffered a setback in its dispute with Duke Energy over the utility's 2012 property tax bill after a Circuit Court judge ruled a $1.5 billion asset could be calculated based on its "salvage" value.
Though the case is not completely resolved, the judge's recent decision means Citrus could lose as much as $10 million in tax money.
Citrus sent Duke a $34 million tax bill for 2012, of which the utility paid just $19 million and sued the county over the disputed amount. The action plunged the county school system into an economic crisis. ...
A union that represents electrical workers in Florida says Duke Energy wants to cut the health and life insurance benefits of union retirees as the utility did with nonunion retirees earlier this fall.
In addition, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents about 1,900 of the 4,000 Duke employees in the state, says the utility wants to eliminate spouse benefits of current workers, restrict holiday benefits and reduce sick pay for employees....
TAMPA — Scaling 45-foot poles with little more than a utility belt and soaring even higher in a cherry picker seem hard enough tasks for an apprentice.
Now try it under the watchful eyes of your company's senior executives and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, who visited Tampa Electric's electrical lineman training facility Thursday.
"Man, I was watching you," Perez told 26-year-old Jonathan Sanchez after he raced up the utility pole with a 45-pound belt around his waist as if he was just climbing a flight of stairs. "You're fast." ...
A crowd estimated at more than 120 people gathered across from Duke Energy Florida's headquarters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, urging the utility to close two coal plants by 2016 and replace them with solar power.
Led by the Sierra Club, which is pushing utilities nationwide to close coal plants, almost two dozen groups participated in the chilly morning rally with banners that read "Sunshine State for Solar Power," "Solar is the Power!" and "Let the Sun shine."...
Tampa treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration ended the third quarter of 2013 with a net loss of $900,000, the result of one-time costs related to a court ruling against the firm.
The third-quarter loss of 1 cent per share was down from net income of 5 cents, or $3.8 million, during the same period a year ago.
For the first nine months of this year, Odyssey lost $21.5 million, compared with a $17.3 million loss during the first nine months of 2012....
To Florida's big utilities, the Sunshine State isn't as bright as its nickname indicates.
Too cloudy. Too hazy. Too much darkness. It just doesn't have the pounding rays of, say, Arizona or parts of California.
As such, the reasoning goes, the Sort of Sunny State isn't great for solar energy — unless someone develops storage technology to overcome those limitations.
Enter Yogi Goswami, an internationally renowned mechanical engineer at the University of South Florida. ...
Florida's energy efficiency score slipped in the latest national evaluation of state programs released Wednesday, with below average utility and appliance standards as a leading cause of the drop.
Though its overall score fell from 17.5 to 15.5 out of 50 points, the Sunshine State's national rank rose to a tie for 27th from 29th.
The annual report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked Massachusetts as No. 1 with 42 points followed by California with 41. Both of those states ranked high in their utility policies and funding for energy efficiency. California also set such goals as zero net energy construction — meaning homeowners essentially have no monthly electric costs from a utility company — on all new residential buildings by 2020 and new commercial facilities by 2030....
State Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, on Wednesday called on the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate to reopen hearings into the Duke Energy Florida's nuclear fiascos.
In letters Tuesday to Speaker Will Weatherford and President Don Gaetz, Dudley complained that Duke's 1.7 million Florida customers are unfairly bearing the largest share of the costs for problems created by the utility....
Environmental groups in Florida and North Carolina want utility regulators to reopen public hearings about a series of Duke Energy actions, from its failed nuclear projects to the merger with Progress Energy.
On Tuesday, a coalition led by Greenpeace and Florida Public Interest Research Group sent a petition to the Public Service Commission asking regulators to reconsider a settlement agreement with Duke....
Tampa Bay area electricity customers will see monthly bills increase as much as $9 on average beginning Jan. 1, after state regulators gave approval Monday to final rate adjustments for 2014.
The Public Service Commission unanimously affirmed the rate hikes, which were widely expected based on previous utility agreements and settlements with consumer advocates.
Duke Energy will charge the most of the state's three largest investor-owned utilities with a rate of $125.29 per 1,000 kilowatt hours of use, the amount consumed by the average residential customer. That's up from this year's $116.06....