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PSC sets new FPL rates -- 21 cents hike in base rates

State utility regulators set the new rate increase for Florida Power & Light customers in a swift, 17-minute meeting, with little discussion.

Starting on March 1 meter readings, residential customers will pay $1.03 cents a month more for every 1,000 kilowatt hours for the base rate portion their bills for electricity, including an energy charge that will rise 80 cents and taxes that go up 2 cents.

The base rate increase is a result of the $75 million increase awarded to FPL by the Public Service Commission on Jan. 13.

Meanwhile, FPL's 4,500 customers are already beginning to see some savings on their January bills. That's because the one-time refunds, ordered by the Public Service Commission in November, are giving customers refunds of $44.46 for 1,000 kilowatt hours used.

FPL had hoped to stretch out the fuel savings over the next year, to offset the 30 percent, $1.3 billion increase, the company had sought. But regulators rejected that plan, ordering them to refund $365 million they overcollected in fuel costs in 2009, and rejecting all but a fraction of their rate request.