Some Florida Power and Light customers say they’re feeling powerless after receiving their electric bills after Hurricane Irma.
While they expected to pay less after being without electricity for days, their charges were about the same, if not more, than the same time last year.
A total of 4.4 million FPL customers lost power during the storm for an average of two days.
Fred Perdomo, of Homestead, lost power for more than ten days. When his electricity bill arrived weeks later, he had to take a closer look.
“I was shocked,” said Fred Perdomo. “To me it’s just the math, it doesn’t add up,” he said.
Perdomo’s bill after the storm was close to the same amount it was at the same time last year, despite being in the dark for more than a week.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Perdomo said.
He filed a complaint with the Florida Public Service Commission, a state agency that regulated FPL.
The NBC 6 investigators found dozens of others made formal complaints.
The complaints came from many people throughout the South Florida area who called the charges “nonsense” and some claimed to have higher bills after the storm.
“There’s something wrong because if you were without power for that long, it would be less,” said Grete Butcher, a customer who thought her bill would also be lower.
Florida Power and Light would not discuss the issue on camera with NBC 6.
A spokesperson said the company will never charge customers for power they don’t use and that there could be three reasons bills are higher than expected.
First, September brought high temperatures, which means your air conditioner was running more than other others.
Second, after the storm, customers often use more power because it takes more energy to cool your home.
And third, many of the bills sent after the storm were estimates. That’s because the company can’t read your smart meter if you don’t have electricity. Any adjustments should show up on the second, most recent bill.
However, Perdomo said that second bill was only ten dollars lower.
“That’s when I got really pissed off,” said Perdomo.
In his case, the company came to his home and replaced his meter. FPL is testing the old one. It’s a meter he’s now watching closely.
“Thank God we have a place where we can complain and have people like you who listens to us, and takes the time to hear our concern,” said Perdomo.
To file a complaint with the Florida Public Service Commission, click here.