Utilities outline costs
The Florida Public Service Commission will meet again this week to finalize the storm protection plans of the state’s utilities and the associated costs to be passed along to consumers. The plans include putting more power lines underground to protect against future storm outages. Florida Power & Light (FP&L), Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, and Florida Public Utilities submitted their resiliency plans this past spring. The Commission earlier this month made some changes to the plans to reduce the cost to utility customers, such as FP&L’s proposed $4.67 billion in investment costs over the next three years.
The utilities used to include resiliency costs into their base rates, which are set for multiple years. In 2019, the Florida Legislature set up a separate process where utilities now submit 10-year storm protection plans which include annual charges to their customers. Commissioners expressed concern about the next round of charges, given the higher cost of electricity right now and the potential for some customers to be assessed higher costs related to power restoration from Hurricane Ian. The commission this week will look at updated pared-down proposals from the four utilities.
Meanwhile, both FP&L and Duke Energy have submitted plans to pass along savings to their customers from the extended federal tax breaks for renewable energy. Duke wants to pass along $56 million and FP&L $384 million in savings to customers over the next three years. It will help reduce rate increases customers face in 2023. The extended tax credits, part of the August Inflation Reduction Act, help utilities that invest in solar power production.
LMA Newsletter of 10-24-22