FPL proposes pandemic aid for small businesses

Florida Power & Light has asked state regulators to approve a proposal that would offer bill credits to certain small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal, filed Thursday at the state Public Service Commission, would provide 10% credits on energy charges and could take effect in December.

It would be available to new small businesses, small businesses that resume operations after being inactive for six months and small businesses located in what are known as “Opportunity Zones” under federal law. Those zones generally are in economically distressed areas.

In the filing at the Public Service Commission, FPL said it “intends this program to help its smallest business customers that may be most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

FPL and other utilities have taken a series of steps to address customers’ economic problems caused by the pandemic, including temporarily suspending disconnections and trying to work out payment arrangements.

But with utilities resuming disconnections in recent weeks, the Public Service Commission this month rejected a proposal that would have halted many electricity shut-offs for at least 90 days.

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