Public Service Commission to rule on Florida Power & Light settlement in December

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The state Public Service Commission is expected to decide Dec. 13 whether to approve a controversial base-rate settlement proposal for Florida Power & Light, reports the News Service of Florida.

Commissioners late Tuesday finished two days of technical hearings about the proposal, which reflects an agreement reached by FPL and some major power users. The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, opposes the proposal and has tried to kill it since August. The proposal would allow FPL to increase base electric rates by $378 million in January and another $165.3 million in June 2013, when a new power plant starts operating at Cape Canaveral.

Also, the utility would be able to increase rates after new plants start operating in 2014 and 2016 at Riviera Beach and Port Everglades. The Office of Public Counsel has argued that FPL’s base-rates should drop — not increase — by as much as $253 million next year. If the Public Service Commission does not approve the settlement, it is expected in January to consider another proposal that would allow FPL to raise rates by $690.4 million in 2013.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.