A Loxahatchee couple who intervened in Florida Power & Light Co.’s rate case has now taken a stance opposing a proposed settlement deal that would give FPL an $811 million rate increase through 2020.
“Their profit is $1.6 billion, and now ratepayers will be paying more. When does the gluttony end?” Alexandria Larson, who along with her husband Daniel intervened in the rate case, said Wednesday.
FPL filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission in January seeking a $1.3 billion rate increase. That case was heard before the PSC for nine days ending Sept. 1. Last week FPL and three intervenors announced they had reached a settlement that if approved by the PSC, would give FPL an $811 million.
Click here to read more about the settlement.
Nathan Skop, a former PSC commissioner who represents the Larsons, said the proposed settlement represents a financial windfall to FPL to the detriment of residential customers. If approved, it would be the largest base rate increase in decades.
The Office of Public Counsel, the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association and the Florida Retail Federation signed on to the agreement with FPL. The other six intervenors in the case did not sign the deal, and it’s not known how many will object to it.
In a motion seeking approval of the agreement filed Oct. 6, attorneys for FPL, OPC, the FRF and the SFHHA state, “Due to the conditions surrounding Hurricane Matthew, the signatories were unable to reach other parties to this proceeding to determine their positions at the time of this filing. The signatories will endeavor to do so as soon as practicable after Hurricane Matthew and will file an updated certificate of conferral with the Commission.”
Skop called the assertion that there wasn’t enough time to consult the parties prior to the hurricane is
“completely disengenuous,” because according to published reports, OPC had the settlement a week before it was filed Oct. 6.
Florida Public Counsel J.R. Kelly said Wednesday while it’s true the terms had been conceptually agreed to, the settlement was not finalized in writing by the parties and signed until Oct. 6.
AARP officials said Tuesday they and their regulated utility experts are reviewing and analyzing the settlement.
The PSC can approve the settlement without the other intervenors’ okay.
Nathan Skop, a former PSC commissioner who represents the Larsons, said the proposed settlement represents a financial windfall to FPL to the detriment of residential customers.
Skop said the Larsons were not given the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the settlement discussions.
“The Larsons believe that OPC sold out residential ratepayers and should not have agreed to this settlement,” Skop said.
Kelly said Tuesday that the settlement is a fair deal for everybody.
The PSC has to either vote against the agreement, or approve it, but cannot modify it, the filing states.
Kelly said the other intervenors have not notified him about their positions. There will be a hearing where all the parties will have an opportunity to oppose or take no position, make comments and present witnesses.
A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27.