The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) would like to address inaccurate reports circulating in the Tampa Bay area. Although it has been reported that Duke Energy Florida customers will receive less than full refunds of amounts that should not have been billed, the claim is untrue.
The original issue arose when Duke Energy shifted customers’ billing dates, requiring a change in the length of one billing period. Some of the customers who received a longer one-time billing period paid for the additional days of usage at a more expensive rate tier that applies to higher usage.
On August 25 the PSC asked the company to explain, and to propose a remedy. Duke Energy announced on August 27 it would refund the difference to all customers who saw usage moved into the higher rate tier by a longer billing period.
“We are concerned that Duke Energy customers are worried and aggravated by reports that amounts they were promised won’t be fully refunded,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “There’s no truth to it at all. The PSC requires Duke Energy to make its customers whole in this matter, and the company has committed to do so.”
The source of the claim appears to be an erroneous headline in the September 11 Tampa Bay Times. State Representative Dwight Dudley cited the newspaper story in a letter to PSC Chairman Graham urging an investigation, which in turn was cited in another news account. The Tampa Bay Times had acknowledged the error, however, and changed the headline in its online edition.
Graham noted the Public Service Commission welcomes inquiries about the matters it regulates.