FPL is asking customers to reimburse them for $274M spent during Hurricane Dorian

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:

Dorian leveled the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm but never approached us in Southwest Florida.

The outer bands whipped across the east coast, but the storm never made landfall.

And yet, Florida Power and Light plans to ask its customers to pay hundreds of millions.

The question is, for what?

Gregory Cain of Fort Myers said his house never even saw rain, but FPL said it spent $274 million to prepare for Dorian. “If we weren’t hit, we shouldn’t be charged for it,” he said.

The utility brought in crews from other states and that price soared because they came during Labor Day Weekend.

“It would have been irresponsible for FPL to take a wait and see approach to a hurricane,” said FPL spokesperson Jeff Ostermayer.

Linda Austin, who lives in Fort Myers, wants to know how they could rack up such a bill and expect her to pay.

“I think it’s terrible I think that we get charged enough money for electricity and air-conditioning and all that to have it go up,” she said.

But FPL is a monopoly, a very profitable one at that. The company reported $588 million in profits in the first quarter of this year.

And its customers can’t choose another power company.

FPL still must formally request permission to add the charge to its customers. The Florida Public Service Commission will have the final say.

FPL got permission to add a surcharge after Hurricane Matthew. Customers paid a little over $40 over the course of a year.

The utility initially planned to ask for a surcharge after Irma but instead used federal tax savings to cover its costs.

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