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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida Power & Light should be able to collect an additional $810 million from customers next year because of higher-than-expected natural gas costs, staff members of the state Public Service Commission recommended Tuesday.

Florida utilities are generally allowed to pass through costs to customers for fuel used at power plants. Utilities each year file projected fuel costs that regulators then use to determine how much will be charged to customers in the subsequent year.

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FPL made such a filing Sept. 3, with regulators approving it early this month. But the utility on Nov. 9 requested what is known as a “mid-course correction,” a sort of add-on to what was approved earlier.

The $810 million sought by FPL represents gas costs above projections for the final months of this year and for 2022.

The commission is scheduled to take up the request and the staff recommendation during a Dec. 7 meeting.

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If the request is approved, FPL would begin collecting the additional money in January.

For residential customers who use 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity a month — a common industry benchmark — the request would translate to paying $6.82 or $6.83 a month more than what had been expected in January, according to the filing.

Tampa Electric Co. last week filed a similar proposal because of higher-than-expected gas prices, and Duke Energy Florida also has warned that it might have to revamp fuel costs.

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