Florida Power and Light Drops Request for Base Rate Increase

By  | 

The PSC hearing room was full with concerned retirees; mounds of paperwork stood ready for reference. The battle lines were drawn when the unexpected happened.

Florida Power saw the light, giving up its request for a $430 million a year rate increase.

Attorney General Charlie Crist’s top negotiator was given most of the credit.

Charlie Crist said, “The company wants $430 million.”

“How do you talk them into nothing?”

“Uh, by objecting, evidently. We had some very good lawyers,” said Crist.

The AARP had filled the audience with angry seniors who are now singing a happy tune.

Bruce Daniels came from Palm Beach County.

“I think the public counsel made a good cause for showing how the company might not need the increase, but probably should be rolling rates back, so that's the way. It's a compromise,” said Bruce.

In return for dropping the rate hike, FP&L will not have its $68 a month hurricane surcharge appealed.

Bill Swank of Florida Power and Light said, “We negotiated a number of items that have been able to take some of the major issues off the table.”

With the settlement, the writing may be on the wall for Progress Energy and its pending $205 million rate hike. The company has already started negotiating.

The Progress case is set to begin September 7. The PSC did not immediately approve the settlement, but approval is expected Wednesday afternoon the 24th.

The action is expected to save customers three to four dollars a month.