FPL seeks rate increase for long-term clean energy investment

You may soon have to turn up your thermostat and use your utilities less, because Florida Power & Light is asking for a pay increase to invest in cheap, clean energy. But for that to happen, the Florida Public Service Commission must approve it, so your feedback is wanted.

Those looking to give their opinion can attend one of the many FPSC service hearings. There are still time slots available running through July 2. Customers are encouraged to speak directly to the FPSC about FPL’s service.

FPL says that money is going towards what it’s calling clean, affordable energy. This is a long-term investment that the company says will help provide cost-effective solutions to keep bills as low as possible, even if that means some price raises in the immediate future.

These solutions include installing 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030, constructing the world’s largest solar-powered battery system and piloting green hydrogen in Manatee County, which FPL says is the key to unlocking a future of 100% zero-emissions future. The company says while the rates will increase now, these investments will ultimately make them cheaper in the future.

“We understand that there’s never a good time to ask for a rate increase,” said FPL spokesman Jack Eble. “With that being said, we have a fundamental responsibility of looking to serve our customers today. And then looking over the horizon to serve our customers tomorrow, we’re facing a number of unique challenges.”

This is the midway point in FPL’s process to raise its rates. The utility company is looking to raise your rates gradually over the next four years, which means you would eventually be paying an extra $18 per month. Next year alone, you can expect to pay an extra $10.5 per month. The next step would be a technical hearing before the FPSC in August, which functions as a normal court case with witnesses and testimony.

Since FPL is a highly regulated utility here, all aspects of this process will go through the FPSC. If the plan to raise rates is approved, it would take effect in January 2022.

“Everything that we do here at FPL is finding cost-effective solutions for our customers that are also better for the environment,” Eble said. “We want to hear what our customers have to say. We’re always striving to be better, and their input matters. So we encourage our customers to provide any input they would like to as part of this process.”

Service hearings are just one way for customers to provide comments. You may also call the commission’s Office of Consumer Assistance and Outreach, or send them an email or letter. FPSC has a Q&A page regarding this case.

Reporter:Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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