September 17, 2021

Cable group seeks to weigh in on FPL rates

In a somewhat-unusual move, a cable-television industry group is seeking to intervene in a case about whether Florida Power & Light should be able to raise base electric rates over the next four years.

The industry group Florida Internet & Television Association, Inc. filed a petition last week at the state Public Service Commission, which is expected to decide whether to approve FPL’s rate proposal this fall.

The petition said, in part, that the association’s members attach lines to hundreds of thousands of FPL and Gulf Power poles and pay “tens of millions of dollars per year” for the attachments.

“Together, the (Public Service) Commission’s actions in this docket will directly affect and impact each of the FIT members within the FPL and Gulf service areas,” the petition said.

“Accordingly, FIT is entitled to intervene to protect its members’ substantial interests in receiving safe, adequate and reliable electric service and pole attachments at fair, just and reasonable rates.”

FPL’s merger with Northwest Florida’s Gulf Power formally took effect Jan. 1, and the rate filing addresses the combined utility.

The proposal seeks a $1.1 billion increase in base-rate revenues in 2022 and a $607 million increase in 2023. It also calls for a $140 million increase in 2024 and a $140 million increase in 2025 to pay for solar-energy projects.

The state Office of Public Counsel represents consumers in the case, but several groups also have intervened. Florida Internet & Television said its predecessor association, the Florida Cable Television Association, intervened in the past in PSC cases but had not participated in an electric-rate case.

“Although FIT has not previously participated in an electric rate case before this commission, the fact that each and every FIT member is presently an electric customer and pole attacher of FPL and/or Gulf across the FPL-Gulf service area is enough to demonstrate FIT’s standing under Florida law,” the petition said.

Tags: News Service of Florida


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