[COMMENT: In the case of Gov. Rick Scott, being “pro-business” means giving EVERYTHING to big businesses like FPL, and NOTHING to hardworking families, consumers, and retirees. The current FPSC entirely reflects this philosophy.
And of course, with this decision, there will be no relief for countless FPL customers being harmed by so-called “smart” meter radiation, or those principled people who refuse to pay FPL’s extortionate so-called “opt-out” fees.]
FPL’s multi-year rate-increase request approved
Florida Power & Light’s residential customers will see their bills increase each year through 2019 following the state Public Service Commission’s approval Tuesday of a negotiated rate-hike settlement.
The first increase will take effect in January, when a typical 1,000-kWh residential user’s bill will jump about $7, from about $91.56 currently to $98.77. That bill would jump to $102.50 in January 2018 and then to $103.70 in June 2019 before declining to $102.97 in January 2020.
The five-member commission approved the rate increase unanimously without discussing objections by intervenors that did not sign onto the settlement, including the Sierra Club and AARP. The Sierra Club opposes further expansion of natural gas plants as harmful to the environment, while AARP argued the proposal guaranteed the utility’s shareholders an unusually high profit and called instead for a $300 million rate decrease for residential customers next year.
“Today’s decision demonstrates what observers of Florida utilities regulation have long believed — this system is simply not hearing the voices of residential consumers,” AARP Florida’s state director, Jeff Johnson, said in a statement released after the commission vote. “Even before this ruling, FPL stood to make $1.6 billion in profit over the next four years. Now FPL gets even more.”
Responding to AARP’s criticism of FPL’s profits as too high, utility spokeswoman Alys Daly said that FPL’s electric rates are currently 30 percent lower than the national average and will remain lower than its 2006 rates after the increases are fully phased in. “The average AARP member in Florida pays less than the average AARP member in the rest of the country,” Daly said.
STATEMENTS FROM SIERRA CLUB AND AARP…
SIERRA CLUB STATEMENT:
PSC APPROVES BIG RATE HIKE FOR UNNECESSARY GAS PLANTS
Lets FPL off the hook on conservation, renewables
AARP Florida Disappointed In Public Service Commission’s Side Deal With Florida Power & Light
Utility Monopoly Gets Unanimous OK From Government Panel for Unwarranted Rate Increase