Published: Nov 02, 2011 10:45 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 02, 2011 10:52 PM EDT

Customers of Florida Power and Light will  have to pay a higher nuclear recovery fee, to help the company upgrade its two nuclear power plants, and design a possible third plant. The new charges will show up in January.

"I don't like it one bit. The rates now are outrageous," said Fort Myers homeowner Aaron Seiple, an FPL customer. "I think they should realize that times are rough and people are hurting. Just paying the utility bill every month is killing us."

FPL got state approval for the nuclear recovery fee. It amounts to about 2-dollars and 20 cents a month, for an average residential customer. FPL defines that as a home that uses 1000 kilowatts a month.  

FPL Spokesman Mark Bubriski told WINK: "The money will be used to upgrade the two plants, make them more efficient, and that alone will save money for customers in the long run. In addition, the money will be used to plan and design a third nuclear plant, which we see as being built in 2022 or 2023."

Lee County commissioner Ray Judah is upset over the extra fee. "We do not need our people paying this cost for a plant that may never come to fruition. I doubt that FPL can find a location or get permits for a nuclear plant. We are finding that nuclear power is not so clean, and there are very big safety concerns, as they found out in Japan earlier this year," Judah told WINK News.

FPL customer Carol Hardy also was not pleased to hear of the higher fee. "People are out of work, we do not need this right now," she told WINK News.

In addition, the state gave FPL approval for a rate hike for 2012. That will amount to an extra 52-cents a month for an average residential customer.