Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FPL seeks $800-million-plus base rate increase, for 4.5% avg monthly bill hike

In a press release out of its Juno, FL headquarters today, FPL requested that anticipated monthly base rate increase previously set at a total of between $850-$900 million dollars that will go in part toward paying for another two new nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point power station in Miami-Dade County.

Released on the same day as FPL revealed that 11,000 customers had lost power in South Florida as a result of a rainstorm, the news announcement says that if approved by the Florida Public Service Commission:
Under the company’s proposal, the typical 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential customer bill would decrease by an estimated $4.92 monthly, or 4.5 percent, from $109.55 to $104.63 on Jan. 1, 2010.
The release also said that the base rate will principally go toward increasing capital investment (that is, expansion of power generation, transmission and distribution facilities), including "strengthening the transmission and distribution system" as well as "existing fossil fuel power generation facilities" and "existing nuclear power generation facilities."

In a previously released 10-K SEC filing by Florida Power & Light Co, the company said that:
In November 2008, FPL notified the FPSC that it intends to initiate a base rate proceeding in March 2009. In the notification, FPL stated that it expects to request an $800 million to $950 million annual increase in base rates beginning on January 1, 2010 and an additional annual base rate increase beginning on January 1, 2011. These amounts exclude the effects of depreciation, which depend in part on the results of a detailed depreciation study that FPL is currently finalizing. Further, FPL expects to request that the FPSC continue to allow FPL to use the mechanism for recovery of the revenue requirements of any new power plant approved pursuant to the Siting Act that was established in FPL's 2005 rate agreement. Hearings on the base rate proceeding are expected during the third quarter of 2009 and a final decision is expected by the end of 2009. The final decision may approve rates that are different from those that FPL will request. (yellow-highlighted emphasis is ours)

In other words, any power plant approved by the Florida Public Services Commission under the terms of the 2005 base rate agreement -- including Turkey Point 6 & 7 nuclear reactors that are yet to be built -- are going to be funded by slapping another $4.92 monthly onto the average consumer's electricity bill!

Read the full FPL news release online, here.

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