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Is there a movement among utility providers to change Florida law to allow providers to pass along construction costs to consumers earlier in the process?


In Florida, utility providers must undergo a regulatory process to disclose their costs and justify requested profit margins.  With a limited exception for nuclear power plant construction, the current law does not allow utility providers to pass construction costs along to customers until construction is completed and utility services are being provided.   Utility customers do not feel the economic impact of building costs or upgrades to generating facilities until these improvements go into service -- an event that may not occur until years after work begins... if at all.     Forcing utility providers to bear the financial burden of such construction at least in the beginning.

Industry buzz about moving to a "pay-as-you-go" system to allow utility providers to pass costs onto customers during the construction phase has been linked to the new Chief Executive Officer of Duke Energy Co., Lynn Good.  With the news of recently approved rate hikes and pending requests for additional rate hikes, such a change in legislation may increase the bottom line on monthly bills for customers but overall may result in a decrease in the total costs passed through to customers since utiity providers may need less financing to fund building and upgrade costs.  Opponents argue that such changes would force customers to bear the risk of utility construction projects which will either not provide services until years later or not go into service at all, and reduce the scrutiny on constructions costs.


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