Monday, March 23, 2009

PSC should just say No to FPL rate-hike request: Miami Herald editorial

The Miami Herald editorial this morning took on FPL and the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) in its editorial this morning condemning the FPL request for a billion-dollar rate hike request, to begin January 2010:

The Public Service Commission should emphatically deny the request, though not for the sheer audacity of FPL's timing. The request should be rejected because it isn't warranted -- and because it is asking too much of too many who have too little.

If granted, the rate increase would push FPL's monthly base rate to $51.71 from $39.31. This is what FPL gets before adding other charges for taxes, fuel conservation, franchise fees, customer charges, capacity payment, environmental charges, etc.

What's more, the Herald challenged FPL's misinformation about whether or not the huge rate-hike would result in higher electric bills:

Customers could actually end up with lower bills even with the rate hike once the improvements take effect and are combined with current and projected lower costs for fuel, FPL says. This is, in fact, true, although not very likely. As they say in car-mileage commercials, ``Actual results may vary.''

FPL was kind enough to list the many ways that ''actual results may vary'' in its press release last week. Information about the rate-hike request was presented in one-and-a-half pages. Possible variances to the lower-payment scenario required four-and-a-half pages of small print, in legalese.

That explains why some papers around the State actually portrayed the hike as a reduction ... accomplishing the FPL Corporate Communications strategy of misinforming the media and the public in order to have its way with the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Kudos to the Herald for clearly spelling this out and standing up in the public defense on this one!

The full text of the Miami Herald's editorial is online, here.

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