TALLAHASSEE- The state Public Service Commission has rejected a staff recommendation for Florida Power & Light Co. to set aside $400 million for possible refunds due to excess profits.

The commission voted unanimously against the proposal Tuesday after a state consumer advocate joined the utility in opposing the set-aside.

The recommendation originally came before the panel in October. It was postponed then because FPL tried to get former Commissioner Nathan Skop excluded from the case, alleging he was biased.

That became a moot issue when Skop's term expired Jan. 1. He has been replaced by Tampa lawyer Julie Brown.

Company officials say their high earnings were temporary due to weather extremes that increased demand last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)