FPL says customers won't have to pay Hurricane Irma restoration surcharge

State's largest utility company to apply for federal tax savings

FPL crews work to restore electricity to customers in the days after Hurricane Irma.
FPL crews work to restore electricity to customers in the days after Hurricane Irma.

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light customers won't have to pay a surcharge for Hurricane Irma restoration efforts as previously announced.

FPL announced Tuesday that the state's largest utility company plans to apply federal tax savings toward the $1.3 billion cost of Hurricane Irma restoration. FPL estimates that it will save each customer an average of about $250.

"The timing of federal tax reform, coming on the heels of the most expensive hurricane in Florida history, created an unusual and unprecedented opportunity," Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO, said in a news release. "We believe the plan we've outlined is the fastest way to begin passing tax savings along to our customers and the most appropriate approach to keeping rates low and stable for years to come."

FPL said it may be able to use future federal tax savings to continue operating under the current base rate agreement for an additional two years. The current agreement covers through 2020.

The company had previously announced its intention to begin recouping its hurricane restoration costs by implementing a surcharge on customers' bills through 2020.

"Our current rate agreement provides the ability to use federal tax savings to entirely offset Hurricane Irma restoration costs, which delivers an immediate benefit to customers, and also the potential opportunity to avoid a general base rate increase for up to an additional two years," Silagy said.