Florida’s biggest utilities, Florida Power and Light (FPL), Duke Energy, and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) are seeking permission from the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to raise customers’ electricity rates.
These monopoly utilities will offer all sorts of excuses for why these rate increases are justified, but this is profiteering pure and simple. They want you to pay for the stunning, and costly, lack of diversity in their energy mix. All three of these companies rely heavily on finite, out-of-state coal and gas—fuels that are globally marketed and extremely vulnerable to price fluctuations.
This is made more problematic because the coal and gas plants these companies rely on become more expensive to operate and maintain as they age, which has become a big factor driving up electricity costs. Experts also project that the price of natural gas will double over the next decade.
By contrast, the price of solar generated electricity—even combined with battery storage for night operation—has fallen to the point where it is now cheaper than gas and coal. In other sunny states, like Arizona and Nevada, solar generated electricity is selling for only a third of the price of electricity from gas.
As long as FPL, Duke and TECO can get the FPSC to allow rate increases, they can prop up those assets, forestall plant retirement, and pass the cost on to their customers.
Unless the FPSC rejects these proposed rate increases, Floridians will continue being saddled with higher and higher rates to subsidize the bad decisions of FPL, Duke and TECO.
Tell the FPSC commissioners to reject the rate increases proposed by these monopoly utilities and protect you and other Florida ratepayers.