PSC approves compromise $811 million rate increase for Florida Power – Florida Politics (blog)
The Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved a compromise rate increase for Florida Power & Light Co. that will cost customers $811 million over four years.
The utility had sought $1.3 billion, but agreed to the compromise with large customers and the Office of Public Counsel, which represents ratepayers before Florida’s utility regulating body.
The commission vote was unanimous.
The agreement provides for a $400 million rate increase to take effect on Jan. 1. A customer using 1 kilowatt of electricity each month can expect to pay an extra $63.49.
Rates would increase by $211 million in January 2018, which will work out to $65.88 per month.
Rates would increase by an additional $200 million on June 1, 2019, to bring online the Okeechobee Clean Energy Center, a new, high-efficiency generating plant.
FPL agreed to abandon natural gas hedging, or buying future supplies based on what the utility estimates the price might be. The public counsel’s office estimates that bad bets have cost customers $6.5 billion since 2002.
In addition, the deal calls for the power company to invest in energy alternatives including solar and battery technology.
AARP, the Sierra Club, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, and a number of federal agencies declined to join the settlement, although Public Counsel J.R. Kelly endorsed it.
“There is a great deal of customer protection in the agreement,” PSC chairwoman Julie Imanuel Brown said.
“Taken as a whole, and given the amount of broad support across the customer group that signed on the settlement, I do believe it produces rates that are fair, just and reasonable and are clearly in the public interest,” Brown said.
Commissioner Ronald Brisé agreed the agreement would ensure good service to consumers and that “their pockets won’t be injured in the process.”
Brisé was not sure the hedging language