Monday, June 23, 2008

How FPL tries to fool customers with 'Sunshine Energy" surcharge

Great post over at Eye on Miami titled "How electric utilities abuse us"

Ol' Gimleteye ponders how FPL tries to get its customers to pay extra through a "Sunshine Energy" surchage on our monthly bills to provide clean energy, which is of course "something FPL should have been doing for its customers all along."

Noting that while the FPL-touted reputation as the largest wind energy producer nationwide does nothing for Floridians (that's generated by FPL in Texas, not here in the home state), Gimleteye goes on to ask pointedly how one would know if the extra charge would be "
going to serve its stated purpose: development of alternative energy in Florida by FPL?"

And, citing a story in the Palm Beach Post, goes on to respond that the Florida Public Service Commission apparently has the same question ...
As reported by The Palm Beach Post last week, a probe of FPL’s “Sunshine Energy” program “began in September with requests to the company for documents and explanations. FPL repeatedly responded by filing records under seal, saying the related documents were “proprietary business information” and “contractual vendor data”. Finally, FPL opened its books.

“The bulk of the $9.5 million raised in FPL’s Sunshine Energy Program between 2004 and 2007 was paid to a contractor in Texas for salaries, office expenses, business travel, research, marketing and a public relations consultant to administer the program.” (Palm Beach Post, June 20, 2008, “Bulk of FPL money for renewable energy goes to start-up costs”)

“In the final report, released May 30, all of the findings were blacked out at the request of FPL. However, in papers filed with the state this week, FPL asked the commission to keep only a few sentences confidential because it is “proprietary business information”.
We wouldn't want to steal any more of the punch from this great Eye on Miami post, so we suggest one go on over and read it in its entirety, here.

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