AARP Florida News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2016
Media Contact: Colleen Krepstekies, (727) 592-8022
St. Petersburg, Fla. — AARP Florida said today that the proposed Florida Power & Light (FPL) $1.34 billion rate increase (24 percent) is unreasonably high and an insufficiently justified increase.
AARP Florida is calling on FPL customers to raise their voices against the increase by the sole utility provider in hundreds of communities throughout central and south Florida. Customers can weigh in on FPLs rate request by speaking up at the Public Service Commission (PSC) hearings. Hearings will be held at the following dates and locations:
- Thursday, June 2: Fort Myers
- Friday, June 3: Sarasota
- Wednesday, June 15: West Palm Beach
- Thursday, June 16: Melbourne
- Thursday, June 16: Daytona Beach
- Monday, June 27: Miami
- Tuesday, June 28: Ft. Lauderdale
- Tuesday, June 28: Pembroke Pines
- Wednesday, June 29: Miami Gardens
“People keep seeing retirement savings shrink and they earn fractions of a percentage on their own investments,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director. “Yet, FPL is asking for a return on their equity of 12.5 percent, while the allowable industry average is between nine and 11.5 percent. Even at nine percent, their return on investment far outpaces what most retirees can depend on and FPL’s proposed increase is detrimental to consumers, especially those with fixed incomes.”
FPL’s requested rate increase is one part of a complex and multi-layered proposal. The utility company wants to increase its base rate from $54.86 to $68.14 a month for all ratepayers, which equals a 12.5 percent increase. Additionally, they are also asking for a $2 fixed charge (to reportedly cover future infrastructure and technology costs), per household that is unrelated to electric usage.
“It is difficult to tell a residential customer, whether they are saving for retirement or just trying to get by that FPL deserves to take more of their hard-earned money just to pad its bottom line,” Johnson said.
In addition, to the base rate increase and the additional $2.00 charge, FPL is seeking to increase the Storm Cost Recovery rider that would be on top of other monthly fees.
After the public comment period concludes, the PSC will hold a formal hearing beginning Aug. 22 in Tallahassee. The PSC will make its final decision before year’s end. Should FPL’s request be granted, the new rates would take effect Jan. 1, 2017, so AARP encourages all residential customers to raise their voice now against this insufficiently justified rate increase request
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly: AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50 + educators; and our website, www.aarp.org . AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.