Florida Citizens and Legislators Renew Call for Governor Scott to Repeal “Utility Tax”

| January 30, 2014

Light-Bill-UtilityST. PETERSBURG, FL – On Thursday at 11:30 AM, ratepayers will gather across the street from the Duke Energy offices in St. Petersburg.  They will again call on Governor Scott to fight to repeal a tax that charges customers for energy they are not receiving and which is partly responsible for recent utility rate increases.

Rate increases went into effect January 1st, which means Duke residential customers will see as much as $9 more on their bills this month compared to December.  The advanced nuclear cost recovery provision in a 2006 Florida law, the “utility tax,” is partly responsible for the rate increase.  Many of those customers live in Pinellas County.

As it stands, Duke’s customers are on the hook for up to $3.2 billion of the costs related to the now defunct Crystal River nuclear plant and the canceled Levy County project.   A Florida law allows utility companies like Duke Energy to bill customers for plant construction, even if those plants fail to produce energy.

Thursday will mark the second time local Duke ratepayers and elected officials will gather to call on Governor Scott to repeal this “utility tax” and refund consumers for energy they paid for, but did not receive.  Since residents held their event in November, Duke/Progress Energy has donated another $500,000 to Scott’s re-election efforts.  The Governor has yet to respond to ratepayers’ calls for repeal.

Representative Dwight Dudley (D-St. Petersburg) will be joined on Thursday by Duke Energy customers and concerned citizens.

Source: Press Release

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