A week after the sponsor of the Senate energy bill, Sen. Andy Gardner, R-Winter Park, promised that this year's energy bill would not raise electric rates to customers, an amendment filed late Friday would change all that.
The potential pricetag: $1.1 billion for Florida Power & Light customers. The amendment, filed by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, moments before the amendment deadline, would allow utility companies to bypass the traditional rate case before the Public Service Commission for certain construction projects, and instead receive an "incremental adjustment to base rates."
Translation: the legislature would order the utilty regulators to impose the added cost to utility bills; the PSC would just decide how much. The bill before the Senate Agriculture Committee is designed to encourage renewable energy development in Florida and includes many provisions sought by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.