Fla. consumer advocate appealing FPL rate increase

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The state's consumer advocate is appealing a base rate increase for Florida Power & Light Co. that could add nearly $10 to average monthly bills over the next four years.

Public Counsel J.R. Kelly filed a notice on Thursday that he will appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. Kelly is challenging the Public Service Commission's approval of a settlement between the utility and groups representing commercial and federal government customers.

A key issue is whether Kelly's office, which represents all consumers, must be a party to any such agreement. It was the first time the commission has approved a settlement without the public counsel's participation.

Kelly contends it's a bad deal for most of FPL's 4.6 million customers in South Florida and along the east coast.

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