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Proposal to Amend Energy Law in Florida Legislature

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The Florida House could cut costs for some consumers on energy fees if a proposed amendment is passed for the Utility Law passed in 2006.

Under the current law, energy providers are able to tax consumers before nuclear power plants are built. Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy Florida have acquired millions of dollars from consumers because of the law. According to FPL, the Utility Law has helped pay for upgrades on equipment.

Dwight Dudley, a House Democrat, doesn’t agree with the law.

“It’s a pretty bad system to have a private corporation to be able to tax the people with very little regulation or anybody stopping them,” Dudley said.

However, Sterling Ivey, a spokesperson for Duke Energy said the law is important to help finance the construction of new plants. He said nuclear cost recovery is necessary because it allows consumers to pay for the costs of construction slowly.

Duke Energy recently purchased 5,200 acres of land and secured large equipment for  plants. Ivey said that it is currently the only nuclear project.

Dudley believes that with the law, nuclear plants are able to treat consumers like investors. Consumers provide funding without a start date on the project.

The law was amended in 2013, despite efforts to have it repealed. Dudley believes that even if the law doesn’t pass through the legislature, consumers will step up.

“Consumers shouldn’t be thrown into the position of being investors, that’s the bottom line,” Dudley said. “Companies shouldn’t be able to take money from consumers in this fashion.”

 

About Eden Otero

Eden is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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