The Florida Public Service Commission, which regulates Florida’s utilities, unanimously approved Florida Power & Light‘s (FPL) four-year rate settlement agreement on Tuesday, a deal that FPL says will mean lower bills in 2025 for the typical 1,000-kWh Gulf Power residential customer in Northwest Florida than the same customer is paying today. Gulf Power was recently acquired by FPL.
The settlement agreement, which was joined by Vote Solar, The CLEO Institute and Federal Executive Agencies, will phase in new rates starting in 2022. Developed jointly with the Florida Office of Public Counsel – the state’s consumer advocate – as well as the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, FPL noted the four-year rate agreement will keep residential customer bills well below the national average while also supporting the nation’s largest solar buildout — part of the electric company’s longterm investment in infrastructure, clean energy and innovative technology.
“Backed by multiple consumer and environmental groups, this comprehensive agreement benefits all 5.6 million FPL customers and our state by keeping bills low and accelerating investments in clean energy,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “Florida is a rapidly growing state on the front lines of climate change and our customers deserve bold, decisive, long-term actions as we continue building a more resilient and sustainable energy future all of us can depend on, including future generations. This agreement paves the way for FPL to continue delivering America’s best energy value – electricity that’s not just clean and reliable, but also affordable.”
FPL says the new four-year plan will also provide support to the company’s “30-by-30” plan, which launched back in 2019. The new base rate will enable the electric company to continue to cost-effectively install 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030 — with the end result being the largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world and a 67 percent fleet-wide reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rate. To date, FPL has installed more than 12 million solar panels in Florida, the largest solar expansion in the United States, putting the company on-track to achieve its goal.
In addition to solar energy, the approved agreement supports several projects in the works for FPL, including their green hydrogen pilot project in Okeechobee County, expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure, investment in smart grid technology, and rapid-response efforts to hurricanes and other natural disasters.
The unanimous PSC decision is the culmination of the customary, nearly year-long process of reviewing and setting new electric base rates. This included 12 public hearings in June and July, as well as FPL’s production and filing of nearly 100,000 pages of documents, including direct and rebuttal testimony, depositions under oath, and responses to thousands of discovery requests from PSC staff and intervening parties.
FPL has been operating under a base-rate settlement that took effect in January 2017 and will end in December.