Florida Power & Light customers' monthly bills will increase by at least $2.49 next year.

Regulators on Tuesday approved a $2.50 increase for charges FPL passes to customers for its environmental, energy conservation, fuel and other costs. The state Public Service Commission is also expected to approve a 1 cent decrease for a storm charge customers pay and it will consider a 23-cent base rate increase on Nov. 22.

If those changes are approved, customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month would pay $99.26, up $2.72 from the $96.54 they currently pay.

The increase approved Tuesday is largely due to a higher capacity charge, which pays for an increase in energy supply, including costs of proposed nuclear projects. There is also an increase allotted for programs that help customers lower their electricity use and environmental projects to comply with federal and state air and water standards.

"Our customers continue to save money on fuel costs due to the investments FPL has made in the efficiency of our power plant fleet," FPL Spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote in an email. For instance, he said a new power generator in western Palm Beach County will save $20 million in 2012: Customers will pay $166 million in 2012 for it but they will reap $186 million in fuel savings.

Bubriski noted the typical bill in 2012 will be a lot lower than the nearly $109 typical customers paid in 2006 and it will still make the utility's typical bill among the lowest in the state.

Typical 1,000-kWh Residential BillJan. 2006CurrentJan. 2012Difference (currently vs. Jan. 2012)
Base $38.12 $43.03 $43.26 $0.23*
Fuel $58.41 $38.00 $37.96 ($0.04)
Capacity [nuclear cost component] $6.03 $8.17 [$0.33] $9.69 [$2.20] $1.52 [$1.87]
Environmental $0.26 $1.40 $1.92 $0.52
Energy Conservation $1.42 $2.44 $2.87 $0.43
Storm $1.65 $1.09 $1.08 ($0.01)*
State Gross Receipts Tax $2.72 $2.41 $2.48 $0.07
TOTAL $108.61 $96.54 $99.26 $2.72
*Changes that still require Public Service Commission review.        
Source: Florida Power & Light