Lawmaker joins calls for repeal of nuclear advance fee with new bill

State Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, this week filed legislation to repeal the so-called nuclear advance fee that allowed Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light to collect money from their customers before new plants come online.

Ahern's legislation is the third bill filed for the 2015 session aimed at ending the fee. The measure largely targets Duke Energy over its troubled nuclear operations detailed in reports by the Tampa Bay Times.

Duke used the advance fee to charge its Florida customers about $1.5 billion for the now-canceled Levy County nuclear project. In addition, the utility spent hundreds of millions of dollars more through the advance fee to increase power at the broken and now shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant. Neither Levy nor Crystal River will ever produce a kilowatt of electricity for the money.

"The consumers are being taken advantage of by utility providers," Ahern said. "We need to take precautions to ensure that these types of events don't happen again..."

...Ahern's bill is in addition to similar legislation filed by Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey, and Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, as well as a bill filed by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee.

The Murphy and Latvala bill would also require Duke Energy to refund all or most of the money collected from its customers through the advance fee...read more

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