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Duke Energy Florida bills go up about $5 next month

State regulators gave the go-ahead for Duke Energy to collect costs from hurricane and storm preparations last year.
 
State regulators gave the go-ahead for Duke Energy Florida to collect costs from hurricane and storm preparations in 2019. Pictured are Duke Energy line workers in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times (2017)]
State regulators gave the go-ahead for Duke Energy Florida to collect costs from hurricane and storm preparations in 2019. Pictured are Duke Energy line workers in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. [CHRIS URSO | Times (2017)] [ CHRIS URSO | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Feb. 4, 2020

State regulators gave Duke Energy Florida the green light Tuesday to collect $171.3 million from customers for costs incurred while preparing for Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Nestor last year. It also will be allowed to collect interest.

The total will amount to an extra $5.34 on customers’ monthly bills from March until February 2021. This amount could go up or down slightly depending on final calculations of costs at the end of this year or early next year.

RELATED: Storm recovery costs could push up Duke Energy Florida bills

Though Florida did not experience significant effects from either storm, Duke Energy and other utilities mobilized about 7,800 employees and contractors in anticipation of potentially devastating effects based on the forecasts at the time. Hurricane Dorian ended up hitting the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, causing roughly $7 billion in damages and killing about 60 people.