PSC says little about halting utility rate hearingsby Dara Kam | September 11th, 2009
Public Service Commission spokeswoman Cynthia Muir gave this response to Sen. Mike Fasano’s request today that Chairman Matthew Carter indefinitely delay rate hearings now underway for FPL and Progress Energy Florida.
“The Chairman is on bed rest today due to his recent back surgery and the strain caused from the long hours of sitting during the hearings. I can tell you that there are statutory time lines that must be followed for each rate case filing. If a Commission decision is not made within the required time frame, the rates requested by the company in its filing can be implemented, at the discretion of the company.
Florida Statue 366.06 provides detail on this.
Progress is requesting a $500 million rate hike. That hearing is scheduled to resume Sept. 21, and the FPL – which is seeking a $1.3 billion rate increase – case is slated to resume on Wednesday.
When asked specifically whether Chairman Carter would postpone the hearings and what the pertinent dates were in both cases, Muir gave the following reply:
“Florida Statute 366.06 spells out the time frame. The Chairman has not responded to the Senator’s letter yet, so there’s no way of knowing what he intends,” she wrote.
Under Florida law, the PSC must give a final order in the FPL case by Nov. 20 or the new rates can go into effect Jan. 1. The utility would have to pay customers back if the panel then rejected the rate hike.