Refunds to nearly 5 million customers of Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light will provide at least a small puff of cooling relief in a broiling and stormy time of year.
A one-time refund in August for charges related to 2016’s Hurricane Matthew amounts to about $2.88 on a 1,000-kilowatt-hour monthly residential bill of just under $100.
Many customers of the nation’s third-largest electric utility use a bit more electricity than that, so their refunds could be slightly higher. FPL serves about 750,000 households and businesses in Palm Beach County.
In September, FPL said it expects to trim ongoing rates by 26 cents per 1,000 kilowatt-hours for what officials called a routine adjustment in storm-related charges and savings associated with a pipeline transaction.
Most full-time state residents will still experience among their highest electric bills of the year based on heavy seasonal use of air conditioning and other appliances, but the changes will dial back the impact a bit.
The Matthew refund hands back to customers about $28 million in storm-recovery costs plus interest, under an agreement approved by state regulators this month. The Florida Public Service Commission concluded state-approved surcharges piled up more money than ultimately needed. Matthew spared much of the state but raked a long swath of FPL’s territory along the east coast.
“This sensible resolution puts a little more money back in our customers’ pockets,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
PSC Chairman Art Graham said the deal was “in the best interest of FPL customers.”
In January, FPL announced that customers would not pay a surcharge for Hurricane Irma restoration because of federal tax savings. In July, FPL bills dropped about 50 cents in some fine-tuning related to tax savings.
FPL, the state’s largest electric utility, handles nearly 5 million accounts serving more than 10 million people across Florida. Company officials tout customer charges 30 percent below the national average.