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FPL adds to COVID-19 relief efforts by offering monthly bill credits to low-income customers

The company is putting $15 million toward the plan.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) is putting forward $15 million to offer monthly bill credits to low-income residential customers. The plan continues the company’s efforts to offer relief during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

FPL will offer those credits to “eligible residential customers” receiving federal assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program. Those qualified customers will “automatically receive a $20 credit on their monthly bill starting in December that will extend through December 2021,” according to a Tuesday announcement from FPL.

That proposal is set to cover an estimated 55,000 FPL customers.

The company also cut billing rates earlier this year as the pandemic’s effects set in throughout the state.

“Since mid-March, we have implemented a number of special policies — including offering payment extensions and waiving fees — to help our customers through the unpredictability and disruptiveness of the COVID-19 health crisis,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy in a Tuesday statement.

“This supplemental bill credit is another way that we are finding innovative solutions to help our customers, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. We will continue to help all of our customers who are still struggling through this global pandemic.”

The outbreak also affected FPL’s own operations. The company was forced to integrate COVID-19 safety measures into its hurricane response preparation in June.

FPL suspended disconnections for the first six months of the outbreak. The company did resume sending final notices to past due customers in September as the state has begun to reopen. But Christopher Chapel, vice president of customer service for FPL, said the company is continuing to work with struggling customers to set up payment plans and avoid service disruption.

“Disconnection is always a last resort and we continue to work tirelessly to find every possible way to keep customers in service,” Chapel said.

“Our dedicated care center agents are working with customers one-on-one to find solutions, which many times includes walking customers through the process of accessing funding that’s available from numerous sources. Despite our widespread outreach efforts, many customers behind on their bill have not contacted us for help. Our message to customers remains simple: Call us if you need help.”

The company offers assistance through its website or by calling 800-226-3545.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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