Florida Commission says raising FPL rates was in the ‘public interest’
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida Power and Light customers have spoken out against a power rate hike after struggling to pay their bills.
The Florida Public Service Commission is responsible for regulating electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities throughout the state. The commission is headed by five commissioners appointed by the governor of Florida and confirmed by the state senate.
News 13 contacted the commissioners on Thursday and they declined a request for an interview. They then sent us this statement.
“All electric utility rate petitions before the Florida Public Service Commission benefit from a transparent process that involves months of discovery and review by all parties to the case,” they wrote. . “This information is then carefully verified during a technical hearing, where all parties can question the witnesses in the case.”
They added that the process includes hearings that allow FPL customers to comment.
“Customers can also make their voices heard at customer service hearings – in this particular case, 12 hearings took place – or by writing to the Commission. You can find all correspondence, including discovery and hearing transcripts, at this folder.
They added that the rate hike was in the “public interest”.
“In this case, a settlement agreement has been reached between the company, the Office of Public Counsel – which is responsible for representing utility customers before the PSC – and other consumer parties to the case. Therefore, OPC negotiated and supported the terms of the agreement on behalf of the FPL customers,” they wrote. “The Commission held a public hearing into the settlement agreement in September 2021. Based on the evidence on file, the commissioners concluded that the agreement was in the public interest and approved it.”
They also noted that the commission did not approve a rate hike as high as FPL wanted.
“The settlement agreement had the effect of reducing FPL’s proposed revenue increase from $1.1 billion to $692 million in 2022 and from $605 million to $560 million in 2023. The return of equity offered by the utility has been reduced from 11.5 to 10.6 percent,” they wrote. “Two appeals regarding this agreement have been filed in the Florida Supreme Court.”
If you want to contact the Florida Public Service Commission, you can visit their website.