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.