Published: October 1, 2020

Legislators tell Florida utility regulators to “step up” on shutoffs moratorium

Two state legislators are calling on Florida utility regulators and Gov. Ron DeSantis to “step up” on an electricity shutoff moratorium and relief from accumulating unpaid balances for thousands of Floridians who are behind on their power bills.

Their comments come the same day as the Florida Public Service Commission’s staff recommended that the board deny advocates' proposal for a statewide ban on shutoffs.

“This is an issue of human rights and dignity,” Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said at a news conference Thursday. “It’s impossible to live in Florida without power.”

She and Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, spoke at the virtual event Thursday hosted by Florida Conservation Voters, New Florida Majority and Catalyst Miami.

Three of the state’s investor-owned utilities — Tampa Electric Co., Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light — have resumed shutoffs for those who don’t pay their power bills, citing the cost of unpaid accounts. All offer payment plans to customers who can’t afford a lump-sum payment to settle the unpaid portion during the pandemic grace period.

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Source: Tampa Bay Times

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