Miami broke heat record after heat record this summer and more than 30,000 Florida Power and Light customers are three months (or more) behind on their power bills.
On October 1, FPL resumed disconnections after pausing them in March, and Miami-Dade’s program to help financially stressed customers has doubled its budget to nearly $20 million.
Requests from residents in need are still pouring in with disconnections back on the table and an end to the moratorium on evictions.
In 2015 study found that one-third of American households — most of whom are minorities and classified as low-income — have difficulty paying their utilities which has triggered anxiety and depression.
Florida’s Public Service Commission allowed utilities to resume shutoffs this fall.
“FPL will continue working closely with customers to do everything we can to avoid turning the lights off for nonpayment, which is and has always been a last resort,” Spokesperson Christopher McGrath wrote in an email. “The vast majority of customers who have received a final notice and have passed their due date still remain in service.”
FPL also started offering a $200 credit to customers who agree to pay off the rest of their outstanding balance with cash, along with their longstanding repayment program that pushes some of the cost of summer bills onto traditionally lower winter bills.
HOW TO GET HELP
Florida Power and Light customers can visit FPL.com/Help or call 800-226-3545.
Miami-Dade County residents can apply for assistance by calling 786-469-4640 or visiting the County’s website at www.miamidade.gov/socialservices to complete the application online or download the application and either mail it to one of the 12 CAHSD Community Resource Centers or place it in the secured drop box located in front of the Community Resource Centers.
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