NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — You're probably starting to get letters or e-mails about your electric bill being due. LCEC and FPL says you will not be charged when you didn't have power following Hurricane Ian, but your bill won't specifically say when that was.
"I didn't have power for 10 days," said Rene, who lives in Cape Coral. "It was terrible."
Thousands like Rene were left in the dark after the storm, meaning their electric meter was not running. However, Rene has a bill.
"I go to Miami for a few days, and I have a $125 bill now," Rene said.
LCEC says you cannot be billed for any usage during that time if your power was out.
"If the meter was not working because they were out of power, then it would not have been measuring the usage," said Karen Ryan, Director of Public Relations at LCEC.
As you look at your bill, there are a few things to keep an eye on.
"They should look at when the meter started and the two dates," Ryan said. "The best thing to do is look at the usage chart and they can see if they were without power then the usage went down."
Some customers on social media said their automatic payment took out more than what they owe. However, Ryan says it will only pay for what is on the bill, emphasizing that any power not used will not show up on your statement.
You could see a partial charge on your bill, depending on when your billing cycle is. If you can't pay your bill, LCEC says it's waiving late fees through November 27. You can also file for a payment extension through LCEC's app.
It also has a fund through United Way where you can apply for financial help by calling 211.
FPL says the company will also not charge people when they had no power. However, the spokesperson said you could be charged state and local taxes regulated. When we asked if the company plans on waiving late fees, the spokesperson would not specify what fees are being waived, but some will be.
Ryan says if you have any questions about your bill, the best thing to do is call LCEC.