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.
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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company