FPL files 2014 fuel projections - bill expected to increase while remaining lowest in Florida and well below national average
- Fuel cost, a pass-through charge from which FPL does not benefit, is primary driver for increase
- FPL's investments in high-efficiency, natural gas-powered clean energy centers continue to help insulate customers by generating more power for less fuel
- New tool to help customers better manage energy usage now available at FPL.com
JUNO BEACH, Fla., Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company today released its official estimate for customer bills in January 2014 in conjunction with electric utilities' annual filing of fuel cost projections with the Florida Public Service Commission.
Based on the company's projections, the monthly bill for FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer is expected to increase in January by approximately 5 percent or $5.00 – which is about 17 cents per day – due primarily to the anticipated rise in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity. The fuel component of a customer's bill reflects actual costs of fuels that FPL purchases to generate electricity at its power plants. The price of fuel is determined by global energy markets, not FPL.
"It's important to us that we do our part to help keep Florida an affordable place to live, work, run a business and raise a family," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "As a result of our investments in efficiency, we are keeping customer bills lower than they were a few years ago and far lower than the state and national averages – without sacrificing service or reliability. Keeping bills low for our customers while maintaining strong reliability and customer service is a top priority for every one of us at FPL."
At approximately $100, FPL's total typical customer bill in 2014 is expected to be lower than any other current 1,000-kWh residential bill in Florida and significantly lower than the state and national averages, which are currently in the range of $124 to $126.
In addition, while the rates of other utilities and prices of common necessities such as food, healthcare and gasoline may have increased substantially in recent years, FPL's typical bill in 2014 will actually continue to be lower than it was in 2006-2009, when higher fuel costs resulted in typical bills ranging from $103 to $109. In 2013, FPL's 1,000-kWh fuel charge reached the lowest level in a decade. Although the 1,000-kWh fuel charge in 2014 will be slightly higher, it will still be lower than at any time between 2003 and 2012.
FPL is in the midst of a multi-year capital investment program focused on phasing out older, oil-fired units and replacing them with fuel-efficient energy centers that run on clean, domestic natural gas. Increasing the fuel efficiency of its power plants has helped to mitigate price spikes and saved customers more than $6 billion since 2001 by generating more power with less fuel.
"What's most important is that the investments that we've made – and continue to make – are working," added Silagy. "In recent years, while the costs of other necessities such as groceries, gasoline and healthcare have increased, the price that FPL customers pay for electricity has declined."
"To keep bills low for our customers in the years ahead, we're continuing to invest in infrastructure and technology, as well as keeping a tight focus on our operational costs and efficiency, which ranks in the top 10 percent of the nation. These factors contribute to our ability to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy, helping keep Florida competitive," Silagy said.
In addition to the projected fuel charge, FPL's estimated January 2014 bill includes projected costs for purchased power, nuclear development, completed nuclear upgrades, energy conservation programs, environmental compliance and other non-fuel components of electric service. There is no impact to 2014 rates from FPL's recently announced selection of proposals for a new natural gas pipeline system that will bring additional clean, domestic fuel to meet the growing electricity needs of Florida's economy in the years ahead.
FPL is providing estimates now to help customers plan ahead for 2014, but rates will not be finalized until later this year. As part of the annual regulatory process, projections for all bill components will be filed in the fall for the PSC's review, which is expected to be completed by early December.
Customers can visit www.FPL.com/rates to use FPL's online calculator to see estimated 2014 bills based on their own energy usage.
New online energy management tool now available to customers
Technological advancements are also helping customers manage their electric bills. Now that FPL has completed the installation and activation of new electronic meters to create a smarter electric grid, residential and small business customers will be able to access their personalized "energy dashboard" on www.FPL.com to see how they use energy by the month, day and hour, and make more informed choices. The new, smarter grid also alerts FPL in the event of an outage and enables FPL to remotely detect whether homes or businesses are receiving power in order to speed restoration.
FPL also offers energy-efficiency surveys online and in-person that provide personalized savings plans filled with energy-saving tips and recommendations. Residential customers can visit www.FPL.com/OHES to take the survey online, while business customers can visit www.FPL.com/BEE to schedule an in-person evaluation. FPL offers a variety of energy-saving incentives and other programs such as FPL Budget Billing®, which helps to even out bills throughout the year so a customer pays about the same amount each month.
FPL's Typical 1,000-kWh
Residential Customer Bill
*Figure reflects FPL's average 1,000-kWh residential bill January through December 2013.
**Estimate includes projected January 2014 rates for fuel, capacity, nuclear, environmental and conservation cost recovery clauses; projected base rate cost recovery for nuclear upgrades completed in 2013; estimated storm charge; and the state gross receipts tax. All rates must be approved by the Public Service Commission and are subject to change.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
Cautionary Statements And Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's control. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "will result," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "seek," "aim," "potential," "projection," "forecast," "predict," "goals," "target," "outlook," "should," "would" or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy; risks of disallowance of cost recovery based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support renewable energy projects; impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy; effect on NextEra Energy of potential regulatory action to broaden the scope of regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy; effects on NextEra Energy of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of its operations; effect on NextEra Energy of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy of severe weather and other weather conditions; risks associated with threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's business or the businesses of third parties; risk of lack of availability of adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy against significant losses; risk of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure to hedge effectively assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, volumes, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures; potential volatility of NextEra Energy's results of operations caused by sales of power on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's hedging and trading procedures and associated risk management tools to protect against significant losses; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas; exposure of NextEra Energy to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; risks of failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy's retail businesses of compromise of sensitive customer data; risks to NextEra Energy of volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements; increasing costs of health care plans; lack of a qualified workforce or the loss or retirement of key employees; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with ownership of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures at nuclear generation facilities resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards posed to owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of owned nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's ability to fund its liquidity and capital needs and meet its growth objectives; inability to maintain current credit ratings; risk of impairment of liquidity from inability of creditors to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; and effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets of the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy discusses these and other risks and uncertainties in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and other SEC filings, and this press release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release and NextEra Energy undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company
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