I guess I’ll weigh in on the highly publicized FPL rate increase request that would add about $7 to each residential account’s monthly bill starting in 2013.
FPL representatives say that the increase will pay for increased costs of doing business and a new “efficient” natural gas fired plant. The increase amounts to $695 million per year. Expected savings from the new plant – $600 million over it’s LIFETIME!
Does something seem very wrong here?
The problem with a public utility is that they are entitled to make a net profit, but that guaranteed profit is a percentage of costs. Costs increase, profits increase. There is no incentive to keep costs in check when you can go back to your customers and get a government mandated bailout from them!
Unfortunately, this is not a rate hike, so there is nothing you can do to avoid it by reducing usage or producing your own power. They want this amount added to the monthly customer charge, which is a base cost before you even start using power from the utility. This directly impacts solar energy sellers (netmetering customers), as they would likely be forced to pay this additional cost even if they consume no net power from FPL. On the other hand, that could just create more of an incentive to reduce the usage part of your bill with solar energy.