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Florida Power & Light to cut rates April 2016, 4th time in 16 months

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Many of Florida’s utility consumers will save even more money on electric bills, as the state’s largest utility provider is looking once again to cut prices.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) filed a request Tuesday with the state Public Service Commission, asking to reduce customer rates beginning April 1.  The price reduction — $1.65 off a typical 1,000-kWh residential customer’s monthly bill — is set to coincide with anticipated savings from early completion of the FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, a state-of-the-art facility with increased fuel-efficiency and lower projected natural gas prices. The Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is also expected to go online April 1, nearly two months ahead of schedule and on budget.

According to FPL officials, the reduced rates will be the fourth decrease in 16 months, and a total reduction of nearly $10 since 2014. FPL’s average bill for April 2016 will be more than $16 lower than ten years’ ago.

FPL business customers can expect to see rate reductions, as well – approximately 2 to 7 percent of an average commercial customer’s bill, depending on the type of service.

FPL CEO Eric Silagy points out that new pricing is part of the utility’s long-term strategy of investing in fuel-efficient clean energy, replacing oil-fired power plants

The use of “clean, low-cost, U.S.-produced natural gas, continues to pay off meaningfully for our customers,” he said in a statement.

The plant is designed to generate enough electricity to power about 260,000 customers, using 35 percent less fuel than the oil-fired plant that it replaces. Projections show the plant will cut the carbon emission rate in half and reduce overall air emissions by more than 90 percent.

Also, FPL will request PSC approval for additional reductions, based on lower fuel cost projections for 2016, due to lower projected natural gas prices.

Even before this latest rate cut, FPL’s typical residential bill is already about 30 percent lower than the national average and the lowest among reporting Florida utilities.

Utilizing new technology and fuels makes FPL the cleanest electric utility in Florida and among the cleanest in the nation. The company says its current carbon emission rate is lower than the target rate set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Florida to meet by 2030.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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