July 30, 2014

Regulation

Power to the People

As two new PSC members change the tone, will Bush holdovers starting changing too?

Neil Skene | 7/1/2007

Rate jolt

In an interview, Edgar took exception to the idea that there is a “turn” in the PSC attitude toward consumers. “I think I am very consumer-friendly and consumer-oriented,” she said.

But in the past two years, power rates have gone up about 20%, driven largely by rising fuel prices but also by storm-repair charges. In 2005, consumer advocates cut a deal with FPL and Progress Energy to freeze basic rates until 2009, but annual “cost adjustments” have increased dramatically. A small commercial customer of Progress pays $929.87 a month vs. $768.97 in mid-2005 for 10,000 kilowatt-hours.

Florida’s PSC has been viewed by Wall Street as accommodating to utilities. A former commissioner says a financially strong utility will benefit consumers in the long run, “like an individual who has a favorable credit rating gets a better interest rate on a loan.” Able to finance expansion as the state grows, Florida utilities have also avoided blackouts, he noted.

In May, the bond-rating agency noted that recent PSC appointments have produced “some regulatory uncertainty.”

Some people hope it’s just the beginning.

Tags: Politics & Law, North Central, Energy & Utilities, Government/Politics & Law

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Sweeter and Healthier Strawberries
Sweeter and Healthier Strawberries

Researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville are studying ways to help more people love the taste of healthy foods.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Your thoughts about fast-food workers joining unions:

  • Good idea - they need more bargaining power (and possibly higher wages)
  • Not in favor - bad for business and the price of burgers

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe