Your next Florida Power & Light electric bill is going way up. Here is why and how much
Higher electricity bills welcomed millions of Florida residents into the new year.
Florida Power & Light customers who paid $101.70 last year for a typical monthly bill of 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will now be charged $120.67.
This change not only accounts for a five-year base rate increase approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in October, but a $6.82 per month adjustment for rising natural gas prices.
The new rates went into effect Jan. 1.
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While future rates could change depending on the cost of fuel, the utility estimates based on current prices that the average power bill, again based on 1,000 kilowatt hours a month of use, will be $117.92 in 2023, $118.12 in 2024 and $118.38 in 2025.
Also with the start of the new year, NextEra Energy, the parent company of the Juno Beach-based utility, took over the footprint of Gulf Power Company, now known as Florida Power & Light in Northwest Florida.
Northwest Florida customers who paid $129.24 per month last year for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month as Gulf Power customers will be charged $155.61, which includes a $6.83 per month increase for fuel costs.
FPL proposed a multi-year rate hike to the Public Service Commission in March, and reached a settlement agreement with a number of consumer-related parties in October.
The company agreed to drop its proposed 2022 increase from $1.1 billion to $692 million, and from $605 million to $560 million in 2023. The last FPL multi-year rate increase was approved in 2016.
The rate increase has brought on legal challenges by opponents. Floridians Against Increased Rates filed an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court weeks after the Public Service Commission approved FPL’s adjustments to address fuel costs.
On Monday, three more opponents – Florida Rising, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and League of United Latin American Citizens of Florida – filed a second notice of appeal to the state supreme court to challenge the base rate increase. The rate increase approved in 2016 was also unsuccessfully challenged in the state's highest court.
I along w/Reps @CarlosGSmith, @AngieNixon & @repmccurdy are asking the Public Services Commission (@floridapsc) to launch an audit on FPL’s (@insideFPL) expenditures to determine whether ratepayer money was used, directly or indirectly, to finance the fake candidate schemes. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/3mBn72ykOL
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 5, 2022
Meanwhile, four Democratic state lawmakers on Wednesday requested that the Public Service Commission conduct a financial audit of FPL, after reporting from the Orlando Sentinel linked the utility to consultants who were involved in the "ghost candidate" scandal in key 2020 state Senate races to purportedly benefit winning Republican candidates.
The lawmakers were concerned about whether ratepayer dollars were used, directly or indirectly, toward the scheme.
"FPL ratepayers deserve to know whether the money they are forced to send the utility every month to pay their bills was used not only to influence elections, but also to undermine democracy through fake candidate schemes," said the letter signed by Orlando state Reps. Anna Eskamani, Carlos Guillermo Smith and Travaris L. McCurdy, and Jacksonville state Rep. Angie Nixon.
FPL has repeatedly denied any involvement in the "ghost candidate" scheme.
"We have never used FPL customer dollars to participate in the political process or lobby on our company's behalf. Any accusation that claims this is uninformed and false," said FPL spokesperson Chris McGrath said.
Hannah Morse is a reporter covering Palm Beach County. She can be reached at email@example.com or 561-820-4833. Follow her on Twitter at @mannahhorse.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Florida Power & Light customers to see higher electricity bills in 2022