By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Santa Rosa County Commission has joined other Panhandle communities in asking state regulators to review Florida Power & Light’s rates.

In a letter dated March 24 and posted Tuesday on the state Public Service Commission website, the Santa Rosa County Commission pointed to a base electric-rate increase that took effect Jan. 1 and additional costs that FPL is passing along to customers because of high natural-gas prices.

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“FPL’s rate increases are having devastating impacts on individuals and families across Santa Rosa County, and the rate increases could not have come at a more economically difficult time for many of our residents,” the letter said.

Other communities, including Pensacola, have sent similar requests during the past month.

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The Public Service Commission in October approved a settlement that included the base-rate hike. Part of the settlement involved integrating the rates of FPL and the former Gulf Power after a merger.

As part of the transition, former Gulf customers in Northwest Florida pay more than FPL customers in other areas and more than customers of Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co.

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