On Monday, June 21, the Public Service Commission held the first in a series of rate-payer workshops. These public meetings are intended to gather customer input on the massive 18% rate increase that Florida Power and Light has requested. This increase would fund new natural gas infrastructure across the state, new solar and battery infrastructure, and unnecessary new transmission infrastructure. FPL is also seeking a raise on the amount of money they can send back to their shareholders.
Why is FPL asking customers to foot the bill for so much new spending when many Floridians are just trying to get back on their feet after the COVID-19 crisis? It’s all about incentives. FPL’s acceptable range of profits is tied to the amount they have invested in the grid. So the more money (our money) they spend on unnecessary new infrastructure, the more profit they can draw out.
FPL does not need this raise. The monopoly utility has disconnected over half a million households from their power throughout the pandemic, invests less in low-income energy efficiency improvements than almost any other utility in the country, and lobbies hard year after year to suffocate the growth of clean energy. Floridians need lower bills, not a gold-plated energy grid designed to boost profits. By the company’s own admission, the FPL grid is already quite resilient to external sources of disconnection through weather and accidents. They could halt many more unnecessary disconnections by lowering bills and helping their low-income customers weatherize their homes.
So far, the hearings have been stacked with representatives of organizations that have received support from FPL. Spaces are filling up to offer comments, so if you haven’t yet, please visit the PSC website and sign up to speak up in English or Spanish. You can also send in a written comment directly to the PSC.
We need the citizens of Florida to speak up against higher bills and dirty energy. Your public testimony is critical, especially as we go up against the biggest utility in the state. Learn more and find more ways to get involved by visiting www.SpeakUpOrPayUp.org // www.ExpresateOPagaMas.org