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Progress Energy customers slated to pay company's power replacement charge

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By Regan McCarthy


Tallahassee, FL – Florida's Public Service Commission gave the okay for Progress Energy Florida to recover "replacement power costs" for its Crystal River nuclear plant, but Regan McCarthy reports the money could be subject to refund.

Progress Energy Florida customers should expect to see their bills go up in January by an average of about 4-dollars a month. The price increase is meant to cover the cost fuel the company bought in order to make up for energy lost by its Crystal River Nuclear plant outage. Commissioner Eduardo Balbis says Progress had little choice.

"They had to incur these costs to avoid the rolling brown-outs or blackouts or whatever it may be. They ate into the reserve margin so that the costumers would not be impacted by a quality of service."

The commission will hold full hearing on whether Progress mishandled the plant's upkeep in June. If they find the company didn't act responsibly rate payers could get their money back. Consumer Advocates say the commission should have waited for the results before passing the cost on to customers.