FPL Rate Hearing Delayed as Storm Threatens
Regulators are pushing back consideration of base-rate increases for Florida Power & Light as a potential tropical storm threatens the state and as a proposed settlement has been reached in the rate case. The state Public Service Commission was scheduled to start a multi-day hearing Monday on an FPL proposal to raise base rates. But commission Chairman Gary Clark issued an order that pushed back the hearing to Wednesday because of what could become Tropical Storm Fred. Clark’s order, issued Thursday morning, said the delay is needed to “ensure that Gulf Power/Florida Power & Light Company can appropriately respond to service issues which may arise as a result of Tropical Storm Fred's landfall in its Panhandle service area.”
The storm, which was a tropical depression Thursday morning, is projected to move toward Northwest Florida over the weekend. FPL and Gulf formally merged Jan. 1, and the rate case includes Gulf’s customers in the Panhandle. Clark’s order also said the Wednesday hearing will only deal with “procedures for conducting a full hearing at a later date on the petition for rate increase” and a proposed settlement filed Tuesday. FPL reached the proposed settlement with the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers; the Florida Retail Federation; the Florida Industrial Power Users Group; and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. But at least three other groups who are parties in the case --- the League of United Latin American Citizens of Florida, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and Florida Rising --- have objected to the settlement, which would raise customer rates over a four-year period.
Article reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.