State regulators said today they will wait until the completion of Florida Power & Light’s rate case before they officially take up the four-year settlement offer between the company and the state’s largest utility users.
PSC Chairman Ron Brise said he will announce a schedule for addressing the proposal on Monday. The agreement would set the base rate for FPL’s 4.6 million utility customers between January 2013 and December 2016 and cost customers an estimated $3.4 billion, according to preliminary numbers from the state's consumer advocate.
Preliminary numbers by FPL indicate the rate increase would amount to a net increase of about $4.21 a month by 2016 for the average customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours a month, said Mike Sole, FPL spokesman. That number could be higher, or lower, if fuel costs shift, however.
FPL presented the offer last week, just days before two weeks of technical hearings were set to begin before the Public Service Commission on Monday. The proposal was designed to force the commission to consider an alternative to the one-year $690 million base rate increase they are now considering and, in turn, allow the company to avoid coming back to have its earnings reviewed in a full rate case by state regulators for another four years.
The state’s consumer advocate, J.R. Kelly, however, says FPL’s projected numbers for what it would cost the average customer are unreasonably low and wants the PSC to reduce customer costs by $253 million beginning next year.