Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, [email protected], 865-235-1448
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Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a deal approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2012 providing Florida Power and Light (FPL) rate increases could move forward.
Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said, “The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling is an insult to families already struggling with the tough economy. The deal – approved by state regulators – requires residential customers to pay more of FPL’s rate increase while big business is off the hook.”
The deal struck between industrial power users and FPL was approved by the PSC despite the strenuous objection of the Office of Public Council (OPC). The OPC is tasked by Florida law to represent consumers’ interests at the PSC. The Courts ruling today resulted from a legal challenge by OPC.
In its brief, OPC called the deal “heavily skewed to favor FPL to the detriment of customers.”OPC argued that the deal approved by the PSC, and today affirmed by the Court, allows FPL to collect more revenues from residential customers than what the company had requested in its original petition. The settlement allowed major rate increases in 2014 and 2016 and $209 million more in earning and bonuses for actions that are already part of FPL’s normal operations.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Florida Director Susan Glickman added, “If the PSC was watching out for the public, they would never have approved such an anti-consumer deal. Our system is broken when big monopoly power companies can muscle through deals that hurt Floridians while Tallahassee politicians stand by and line their pockets.”
FPL, the state’s largest monopoly utility, wields enormous influence in the State Capitol having spent $4.7 million on lobbyists in an 8 year period and contributed more than $800,000 to the campaign of Governor Rick Scott.
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org