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Storm Protection Plans: A Bonanza for Electric Utilities, a Bust for Consumers

Florida electric utilities’ storm protection plans will speed electricity restoration minimally, for very few customers, with dramatic rate increases for all. the plans are about utility profits, not storm protection. You still have time to take action!

Fiberglass network under construction
iStockphoto

AARP Florida has been closely following developments at the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding Florida electric utilities’ Storm Protection Plans (SPPs). Florida’s for-profit monopoly utilities are using the opportunity and incentives provided by a recently-enacted SPP state law to make massive and largely ineffective investments in Florida’s electric grid. The plans anticipate rate increases of $18 to $29 per customer, per month by 2029, though there is no way to measure post-storm restoration performance, and no way to hold utilities accountable for proposed improvements.  

On Aug. 10, in rubber-stamp hearings that were part of rushed regulatory proceedings, PSC commissioners unanimously approved the four utilities’ SPPs (Florida Power & Light (FPL), Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, and Gulf Power Company). AARP Florida members should know these facts:

  • AARP Florida estimates Florida electric customers will pay $40 billion for implementation of the plans by 2059, including an estimated $12 billion in profits for utilities.
  • All customers will subsidize a tiny few. Despite the SPPs massive size, few customers will experience shorter storm-related outages. For example, just 4 percent of FPL’s residential customers and 5 percent of Duke Energy’s customers will get their overhead powerlines undergrounded.
  • The SPPs are not strategic, and do not consider any modern options for reducing grid dependence, such as: solar, batteries, or a more decentralized electricity system.
  • None of the SPPs complied with the PSC’s own Rules (25-6-030) for such plans.

DOWNLOAD our Storm Protection Plan FAQ and Recommendations now!

You still have time to make your voice heard and make a difference before the PSC issues final written orders. Residential customers can voice their concerns to the PSC in either of two ways:

1)  email your concerns to the Public Service Commission Clerk here
2)  mail a paper copy of your concerns to:
Mr. Adam Teitzman
Commission Clerk
Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850

On your correspondence, be sure to include:
a) your first and last name;
b) your electric utility’s name and the address where you receive electric service; and
c) the docket number 20200092-E1 so that it can be included for consideration.

Correspondence should be sent as soon as possible, and in any event so that it is received by the PSC by September 30, 2020.

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