Shareholders to Profit While Customers Pay Higher Bills
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 865.235.1448, [email protected]
UPDATE: Click here to listen to an in-depth interview with SACE’s Florida Director, Susan Glickman, recorded on July 24, 2014 about how Florida’s giant private utility companies are pushing to cut back on their energy conservation programs this week at the Florida Public Service Commission hearings.
Tallahassee, Fla. (July 21, 2014) At a hearing starting today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) will determine whether or not to approve historic rollbacks in energy efficiency goals put forward by the state’s biggest power companies.
The power companies’ newly-proposed goals would gut those set by the PSC in 2009. In the case of Florida Power & Light (FPL), the utility is proposing to slash its current efficiency goals by 99 percent, thus failing to offer any meaningful energy savings at all. FPL’s proposed energy savings goal for 2015 is only 0.002 percent of its sales. By comparison, utilities in 14 states around the country are already achieving energy savings of 1.0 percent or more of sales – at least 500 times the energy savings proposed by FPL.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is a party in the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA) proceeding, and Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of SACE, issued this statement:
“These proposed goals are simply unbelievable. Florida’s biggest electric utilities are effectively asking the Florida Public Service Commission to let them kill utility energy efficiency programs in Florida. These are monopoly power companies watching the technological world change and shamelessly gouging their customers in a desperate attempt to maintain their outdated business models. Unfortunately, if these goals are adopted, Florida customers will lose. Fewer efficiency programs will mean higher energy bills: the utilities will build more power plants that they can move into the ratebase to get a generous return on investment for their shareholders at billpayers’ expense.
The Florida Public Service Commission and the political leadership in Tallahassee have created an environment that emboldens the monopoly power companies to propose such drastic cuts in Florida’s efficiency goals; this just shows how broken the system has become. There is no Public in the Florida “Public” Service Commission – the commission has become a playground for utilities gone wild, all at the expense of Florida consumers.”
Energy efficiency programs can help meet electricity demand at a fraction of the cost of building new power plants. They can help Floridians reduce energy use and save money on their power bills. The ten-year efficiency goals – set by the PSC every five years – determine the scale of the power companies’ energy efficiency programs for customers.
Florida’s power companies use a host of methods, rejected long ago by leading utilities and utility commissions in other states, to support their anemic proposed goals, including arbitrarily eliminating all efficiency measures that have the highest energy savings to customers.
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create climate change solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org