The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved two utilities’ stipulation and settlement agreements to resolve all COVID-19 related issues. This includes the regulatory asset accounting mechanism that allows the utility to defer recovery of costs due to events beyond its control.
The Office of Public Counsel (OPC)—representing consumers—entered into separate stipulation and settlement agreements with Gulf Power Company (Gulf) and with Florida Public Utilities Company and the Florida Division of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (FPUC) on all issues concerning their petitions to charge customers for COVID-19 costs.
“The impact of COVID-19 is still affecting utilities and their customers. Both Gulf and FPUC experienced high COVID-19 related expenses due to write-offs for uncollectible accounts, as well as safety-related costs,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “This settlement is in the public interest because it will provide regulatory certainty for Gulf and FPUC, while minimizing the impact to their customers.”
Gulf’s COVID-19 Settlement provides:
• Gulf may establish a regulatory asset in a total amount not to exceed $13.2 million ending on June 30, 2021.
• Gulf will not record any further amounts to the regulatory asset after June 30, 2021. Any incremental costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise incurred after June 30, 2021 and through December 31, 2021, will be categorized as a separate event.
• Beginning on January 1, 2022, with the fuel factors established for the calendar year 2022, Gulf will be allowed to amortize over three years and recover the regulatory asset established by the settlement through the Fuel and Purchased Power Cost Recovery clause mechanism.
FPUC’s COVID-19 Settlement provides:
• FPUC may establish a regulatory asset in a total amount of $2,085,759, as deemed appropriate as of June 30, 2021.
• The parties identified specific costs as recovered through COVID-19 related savings that are not eligible for any recovery in future proceedings.
• FPUC will not record any further amounts to the regulatory asset after June 30, 2021. Any incremental costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise incurred after June 30, 2021, will be categorized as a separate event.
• Beginning with the factors established for the calendar year 2022, FPUC is allowed to amortize over two years and recover the allocated regulatory asset through the Purchased Gas Adjustment and Swing Service mechanisms for the natural gas business units and through the Fuel and Purchased Power Cost Recovery clause mechanism for the electric division.
Approval of Gulf’s and FPUC’s COVID-19 settlement agreements resolves all issues in their petitions filed on May 22, 2020 and August 11, 2020, respectively.
Gulf, now a part of Florida Power & Light Company, serves approximately 463,000 customers in Northwest Florida.
FPUC serves 122,239 electric and natural gas customers.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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