FPL Doesn’t Need More Money


At first, the hearing for an electric rate hike was a Florida Power & Light love fest.

People praising a utility that was seeking a rate increase in a recession?

I felt like I was upside down. In Bizarro World.  Or a hall of mirrors.

Here is what I heard:


Business groups saying FPL was a good corporate citizen. A man saying FPL had provided great service when he had a problem with his power. Another noted that an FPL conservation program had taught him how to save thousands.


The cynical among us might believe FPL arranged for these folks to travel to downtown Fort Lauderdale and pay to park to praise the utility.

And FPL had them first-in-line to sign up to speak. So that the hearing was front-loaded with testimony about how great FPL service was and how they deserved the money.

Brochures passed out at the Public Service Commission hearing in the Main Broward Library says the increase, if the PSC approves it , would add $12.40 to the monthly electric bill of the customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month.

But later, after most of the TV cameras left, the hearing turned into the revenge of Wilma.

Witnesses complained about the weeks-long wait some endured to get power restored after the hurricane four years ago.

“We have long memories, said Bunney Brenneman of Fort Lauderdale.

This was more like it.

Other said FPL had picked the worst time to ask for more money.

One woman said she got laid off and explained she would have to tell her child they couldn’t have a jar of peanut butter because of the extra $12.40-a-month. She was fighting back tears.

Browardbeat.com’s Sam Fields said the utility was wasting money building new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point. 

 “Pardon the pun, but FPL has an edifice complex, Fields said.

For the same amount of money that it costs to build a new plant, FPL could install solar water heaters on homes in South Florida. That would offset the need for adding new generators, Fields said.

He was applauded by representatives of the Green Party.

This is one of the rare times I agree with Fields.  At least, FPL could try an experimental conservation program like he outlined by outfitting schools and other large buildings with solar.

As far as the rate hike, I’m a stockholder and would benefit from any additional profit the company made.

But I say forget it.

People are hurting.

Wrong time.


Two more sidelights from today’s PSC hearing:

(1)  The PSC shouldn’t allow politicians first dibs at speaking.  Their opinions are no more important than those of the public.  It is outrageous that the public has to sit through an hour of speeches by politicians who got moved to the head of the speaking list, like State Rep. Franklin Sands and Mayor Joy Cooper of Hallandale.  Its just not right.

(2)  A speaker representing the Florida Attorney General spoke for five minutes opposing the rate hike, but never mentioned Attorney General Bill McCollum’s name. That’s strange in the world of politics.  Especially since McCollum is running for governor. If I was McCollum, I would make sure that doesn’t happen again.

9 Responses to “FPL Doesn’t Need More Money”

  1. FPL Is The Worst says:

    I was without power for 18 days in Wilma. Since then the power has gone out intermittenly almost every week. They can’t seem to do anything.
    A rate hike! No Way!

  2. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    I hope they are allowing elected officials to speak first, cause I am planning on making an appearance today. Not to glorify my presence, but to express the following point:

    FPL is supposed to assist in energy conservation. Yet with millions of dollars coming into local governments under the Federal Energy Block Grant, FPL has actually put up a wall to using those funds for an item that the law specifically is trying to encourage.

    Right now cities pay a flat rate for each street light. Lauderhill has over 3000. The Block Grant encourages the use of changing out those street lights to use LED bulbs, which use 40% to 60% less energy. However, FPL does not provide for a lower tariff for using less energy.

    The result is that while less energy is consumed, the local government pays the same rate. Only FPL gets more profit. That’s why no one is using the money for that purpose.

    I would like the PSC to force FPL to provide a new lower charge for any city installing LED lights on the street lights.

    Now don’t you think that may be worth the visit and if imposed a significant benefit to all members of the public?

  3. Richard J. Kaplanf says:

    Well I made my appearance, and I was allowed to go second (State Rep. Sands went first). I spoke on several issues on conservation and the audience gave me a nice round of applause. Also, which I did not expect, I got questions and positive comments from the Commissioners.

    Don’t know what will come of it, but hopefully something positive.

  4. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    I made my appearance last night, and I was allowed to go second (State Rep. Sands went first). I spoke on several issues on conservation and the audience gave me a nice round of applause. Also, which I did not expect, I got questions and positive comments from the Commissioners.

    Don’t know what will come of it, but hopefully something positive.

  5. The Point of These Hearings says:

    The point of these hearings is so they can say they listened to the public. Something they deeply loathe doing, but a necessary evil. Having completed that task, they can then go and do what they always intended. Raising rates.

    It will happen. You’ll see. They couldn’t care less what people have to say. FPL owns them outright. Want to change that? Simple, make the members of the Public Service Commission run for office instead of them being political appointees. See what happens then.


    You might be interested in this post I had in April about FPL and one of the politicians who helped change the PSC from elected to appointed. It is here

  6. Agree and Disagree says:

    Agree with the comments on FPL – disagree about State Officials not being able to speak first. We elect them to represent us – they are not speaking as individuals, they are speaking on our behalf. If I wait to speak, I speak on behalf of my family and myself; when an elected speaks he/she is speaking on behalf of ALL of their constituents. I heard Franklin Sands gave a great speech; did not hear about others but I am sure they were great as well.

  7. Ash says:

    Fucks Peoples Lives (FPL), fpl kinda sucks they estimated my meter cause they couldnt get to my back yard cause it was locked and my dog was out side. 364.00 for one month is fucking rediculouis. You guys suck ass!!!!

  8. Ash says:

    They bought the property they are sisting on, on military trail from one of my uncles, you would think they would regonise my last fucking name. Stupid idiots!

  9. Ash says:

    dont get me to wrong though, they do a great job with everything eles, but at meter reading, psshh