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Decision on appealing FPL rates likely by weekend

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The state's consumer advocate expects to decide whether to appeal a base rate increase for Florida Power & Light Co. by the end of the week.

The Public Service Commission on Monday issued a formal order for the increase that it approved Dec. 14.

That began a 30-day period for appealing to the Florida Supreme Court.

Public Counsel J.R. Kelly said he's leaning toward an appeal but won't make a decision until his lawyers review the final order.

It accepts a settlement between FPL, a unit of NextEra Energy Inc., and several commercial and federal government customers. Kelly and the Florida Retail Federation oppose the agreement, saying it's a bad deal for most customers.

The settlement is expected to raise monthly base rates for a typical residential customer by nearly $10 over the next four years.