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FPL to implement $900 million rate hike before PSC vote

by Dara Kam | September 25th, 2009

Florida Power & Light Co. plans to raise rates by more than $900 million beginning Jan. 4 without waiting for the Public Service Commission’s decision on whether to grant the requested increase, according to a letter from an FPL executive sent to the panel today.

Florida law allows the utility to implement the rate hike without the regulatory panel’s approval, but FPL would have to refund the difference to customers if the PSC authorizes a smaller increase. The regulatory board’s final decision is now scheduled for Jan. 11 because the rate case has run into overtime.

PSC Chairman Matthew Carter today refused to grant FPL’s requests from earlier this week to make a decision by Dec. 4.

Instead, the PSC will keep its schedule of finishing its hearing Oct. 21-23, voting Dec. 21 on the total amount FPL can collect and voting Jan. 11 on how that increase will affect different types of customers, such as homeowners and businesses.

The Juno Beach-based company’s proposal would allow it to charge customers an extra $900 million a year beginning in 2010 and another $400 million a year beginning in 2011.

FPL sent three letters this week, including one today from FPL Vice President Wade Litchfield, asking Carter to expedite the hearing to avoid FPL putting the new rates into effect before the panel votes.

“The provision for refunds would fully protect customers against overpayment: any portion of FPL’s proposed rates that was not approved would be fully and promptly refunded to customers, so that their net payment starting on January 4, 2010 would be only the amounts resulting from the Commission-approved rates,” Litchfield wrote.

The hearing, which began in late August, has been prolonged in part, Carter said previously, because it is the first rate case of this magnitude the panel has heard and the first FPL base rate case in more than two decades.

But FPL says the PSC has plenty of time to finish the proceedings before the end of the year. The utility needs to know what the panel’s decision will be so it can move forward with projects, FPL spokesman Mark Bubriski said in an e-mailed statement.

“The Commission staff’s proposed delay in this rate proceeding creates unnecessary delay and uncertainty with regard to projects that are bringing a lot of value to Floridians, now and in the future. These projects represent thousands of construction jobs at a time when they are needed most, hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues for Florida communities and billions of dollars in capital investment, and the reality is that this can all be accomplished while lowering customer bills,” Bubriski wrote.

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29 Responses to “FPL to implement $900 million rate hike before PSC vote”

  1. sweatyhotviolentS.FLORIDAHH Says:

    Scumbags,corrupt,lowlifes FPL

  2. Tom Lampman Says:

    Maybe they need it to pay for all the meals they provide for the Public Service Commission. Maybe they need it to pay for the new jet, or the new helicopters. Maybe they need it to send the execs on their annual retreat to figure out how much more they can screw the public.
    Maybe if the newspapers were actually on the side of the public again, they would investigate the scam that is the Public Service Commission. But I doubt it.

  3. Jonathan B. Horen Says:

    Who signed the contract with FPL, in the first place, which allows them to unilaterally implement such a rate hike? The PSC??

  4. Winner/Loser of the Day for 9/25 » Florida Progressive Coalition Blog - Says:

    [...] Florida Power and Light — For deciding not to wait for approval, but to go ahead and screw consumers on their own [...]

  5. Kathy Says:

    It sounds like it’s the PSC’s fault to me. They are the ones who let the hearings drag on and now they won’t change their schedule at all to make a decision.

  6. JP Says:

    FPL= F***ing People and Loving it.

  7. RICH Says:

    This is incredible..seems like EVERY week theres always some story about FPL trying to raise rates and we know this is ALL about making the bottom line look better for the shareholders. These IDIOTS stuck us for cost of repairs during the great hurricane season a few years ago to the tune of $440 million, yet they STILL made $880 million that year for the shareholders. A business can make money, but it can also incur losses too

    When does it END?

  8. whasup Says:

    Florida Plunder and Loot just keeps keeping on.

  9. dbe Says:

    FPL should NOT raise the rate and PSC should NOT approve a rate hike. End of discussion.

  10. l Says:

    fpl is getting out of control where is our governor to protect the people from companies like this. im still paying hurricane surcharges and fuel surcharges. my electric bill is out of control and mind you i hang my clothes on the line and wash in cold water. people we need to speak up about this if our politicians choose to do nothing. enough is enough.

  11. JupiterMom Says:

    It’s about time FPL was exposed for who they really are….I thought it was just me disgruntled by the fact that they never work with me on paying my electric bill despite the fact I have two months deposit on file! What do they do with all those deposits they collect if it gives you no leverage in paying your bill! Power companies in other states always work with their customers not against them!

  12. ray Says:

    Isn’t it amazing that despite our economy that utility companies and governments have seen fit to raise prices and taxes.

    The biggest joke was Seacoast utilities.
    People cut back to save water. The result was a surcharge on the bill.
    Good job Bishop.

    You and the FPL boss along with the county commisioners have a special place in hell reserved.

    You all must have quite the script collection on the night stand to sleep.

  13. Tickedoff Says:

    FPL and there lowlife Executives! They should all be put in jail. Flying around in Cororate Jets to these hearings! Giving themselves millions of dollars in bonuses! They are a Monolpoly that has gotten out of control. They need to be investigated at a higher Federal level not at the State or local level where they are putting money into these Politicians wallets. Meanwhile we are in a Recession, Holidays are around the corner. Am I not mistaked but aren’t there rates based off oil prices which are down now?? See this information below that I pulled from another website. SCUMBAGS!!!

    They raise the rates like there is no end in sight and when oil comes down $100 a barrel they lower the rates” only slightly, David Schepps, an FPL customer in Boca Raton, wrote in an e-mail. Natural gas prices have dropped more than 25 percent and oil prices have plunged about 50 percent since early 2008.

    FPL’s fuel fee for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours – slightly less than what the average FPL typical customer uses each month – jumped from $52.27 in January 2008 to $60.41 in August. That increased the typical monthly residential bill from $102.63 to $110.77.

  14. Ted Says:

    They’re no better than the Banks!

  15. Dantes Inferno Says:

    I hope the PSC takes a long hard look a what these corporate

    ***holes are doing as far as FPL going ahead and raising

    rates. When the PSC votes, they need to vote for a very

    hefty DECREASE for these ***holes. I wonder if these ***holes

    have to walk around with bodyguards?

  16. JoeC Says:

    Does FPL have to also pay back ALL OF THE INTEREST MADE ON OUR MONEY??? This may be nothing more than free money for FPL. Think about it. How much Intered would be paid on an account holding an extra 900 MILLION dollars for 6 Months?
    Even if FPL had to give back the money they Stole from us, Who gets the interest? 900 MILLION x 5% interest = 45,000,000.00 .. Of course we have to split that number in half if they only keep it for 6 months. So if FPL does not have to pay the Interest on the money. They have essentially Gained $22,500,000.00 ……

  17. Bonnie Says:

    Apparently, FPL feels pretty confident that they are going to get their way in the end. I wonder why that is?

    JoeC makes a great point re: interest on increases collected in the interrim. Either way, FPL wins.

    It would be great to see consumers win for a change. Now there’s “Change” I really could believe in.

  18. JoeC is a moron Says:

    Hey Joe, you need to go back to high school math class because you have no idea what you’re talking about. First of all, the $900 million is collected throughout the year, not all at once.

    When the PSC rules on the rates, FPL, by state law, would have to refund any difference if the PSC doesn’t give them the rate hike (or if it’s partial). They can’t sit on the money as you say so it’s not for the interest.

    The PSC needs to just hurry up and make a decision so they stop wasting our taxpayer dollars. Why wait until January? It’s really not that hard.

  19. FPL will raise rates without PSC approval « PoliticsFLA – The Latest Florida Political News Says:

    [...] FPL to implement $900 million rate hike before PSC vote [Palm Beach Post] [...]

  20. Conservative Says:

    I’m so sick of all the whiny people in these comments. In January, you’ll still have the lowest bill in Florida and guess what? It would be even lower if you turned your a/c down and didn’t run you plasma tvs and ceiling fans all the frickin’ time. take some ownership over your own energy consumption before you open your mouth to complain.

  21. Edward Says:

    It is amazing how absolutely naive most people are who respond to this stuff. Go somewhere else! We truely enjoy the lowest electrical rates of most places in this country and everywhere in the world. I have lived in many states over the last 20 years and Thank God I get to live in Florida and I only have to pay what we do for electricity. Try moving to NJ, Delaware, Philly or most anywhere else. Then you will have a right to complain.

  22. RT Says:

    Edward you dont know what the he– you are talking about. Florida is in the lower half of the states with the lowest per KW hour in the US. Gogle it and see. And I am sooooo sick of hearing that the Largest Florida elec, FPL, has the states lowest rates. They are the biggest and they should be less and just because they are less does that mean they should keep getting increases? Unreal returns and disgustingly high salaries to their FAT top exec’s. Cut the cr-p, people may be half asleep most times, but they are awake now and they are not falling for you junk any longer.

  23. They sold us out! Says:

    Come on folks, don’t be naive…They are implementing the increase because they already know it will be granted…You don’t think the “wining and dining” was all for nothing do you…The entire PSC should be replaced by voter appointed representatives…We have been sold out to the the highest bidder…I’m sure you can guess the bidders name!

  24. Don't be a shill jacka@@! Says:

    Edward…Look up the word “shill” Then stop being one!

  25. Im Bo Yo Says:

    FPL= F-in P[]nis lovers

  26. FPLmakesmeshudder Says:

    FPL doesn’t care about it’s customers nor that we’re in the middle of a recession, it’s all about profits. For those Stepford children (disneyland puppets) that work there, they will dispose of you in a heartbeat if it means “increasing their bottom line.” They like to pretend but they DO NOT care about people just “PROFITS.” Why are they trying to block the release of executive salary info?

  27. Sink: FPL $900 million premature rate hike “outrageous” | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] Financial Officer Alex Sink weighed in on Florida Power & Light Co.’s plan to implement a $900 million base rate hike before state … on the proposed [...]

  28. NAACP jumps on the PSC critic bandwagon | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] officials last week told PSC Chairman Matthew Carter they would begin charging the first $900 million of the rate hike on Jan. 4 without the panel’s approval, as allowed by [...]

  29. Crist may lack authority to halt FPL rate case | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] overtime, which put it even farther behind schedule than it already is. FPL officials have said they will implement the rate hike on Jan. 4 as allowed by state law and not wait until the currently scheduled Jan. 11 vote on the issue. They [...]

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