JUNO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has been recognized as a leader among utilities for its adoption of environmentally encouraging initiatives and operational practices, according to a recent national study. In the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ study, conducted by Cogent Reports™ at Market Strategies International, FPL ranked number one in the south on the Environmental Champions list, which considers consumer beliefs about actions utilities are taking to embrace environmental commitment. Results are based on more than 25,000 consumer performance ratings for 125 leading utilities nationwide.
"FPL is one of the cleanest electric companies in the nation and we've been working to advance solar and other clean energy sources in Florida for years," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Today, our emissions profile is already cleaner than the overall statewide goal set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under its new Clean Power Plan, which is to be met by 2030. At the same time, FPL rates are about 30 percent lower than the national average. We take great pride in continuing to demonstrate that a utility can be clean and affordable at the same time."
The Environmental Champions were determined based on Environmental Dedication scores and rankings that reflect the extent to which consumers believe providers are supporting environmental causes, committed to environmentally friendly energy sources, encouraging green initiatives and offering tools to help consumers save energy. This is the second year that Market Strategies has computed Environmental Dedication scores for individual utilities and recognized Environmental Champions in its Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ study, a report that also measures Brand Trust, Operational Satisfaction and Product Engagement, and overall Customer Engagement.
"We've not been afraid to set a high bar and push ourselves to reach for well-respected environmental standards at FPL," said Silagy. "Our customers can rest assured that our team understands how important investments in clean energy infrastructure are in leading us down the path to a sustainable future and we will continue to implement the kind of green programs that benefit the customers and communities we serve."
FPL is making excellent progress on three new large-scale solar energy centers. These plants, along with several community-based, small-scale solar arrays and commercial-scale solar research installations that FPL is building, will combine for a total of more than 225 megawatts of new solar capacity by the end of next year. This installation of more than 1 million new solar panels will effectively triple FPL's solar capacity, which currently totals approximately 110 megawatts.
"Utilities need to leverage consumer interest in solar by educating customers on the features and benefits of these programs," said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International. "In addition, we know from our Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement study that a critical step leading to increased program adoption − whether solar conversion, weatherization or other environmental initiatives − is to establish trust. The data tell us that only utilities with strong brands have customer support for their environmental efforts and programs."
FPL's environmental achievements include:
- State-of-the-art solar investments that are part of the company's long-term, affordable clean energy strategy. Since 2001, the company's investments in fuel efficiency have saved customers more than $8 billion and prevented more than 95 million tons of carbon emissions.
- Management of one of the largest, clean "green vehicle" fleets in the nation with approximately 1,750 biodiesel-powered vehicles and 550 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. In 2013 alone, FPL's clean-vehicle fleet saved 682,000 gallons of petroleum fuel and prevented more than 6,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
- A power plant system that features one of the cleanest emissions profiles among utilities nationwide due largely to investments in high-efficiency, modernized natural gas-fired generation, emissions-free nuclear power and large-scale solar energy centers.
- Educating customers on ways they can save energy by using an online energy dashboard, home energy surveys and other energy-saving tips.
- Creating a Solar for Schools pilot program that featured the installation of solar systems in about 100 sites across Florida offering teachers and students opportunities for hands-on classroom learning experiences about the benefits of renewable energy.
About the 2015 Residential Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement Study Cogent Reports, the syndicated research division of Market Strategies International, conducted surveys among 25,812 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 125 largest U.S. utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample design uses U.S. Census data and strict quotas to ensure a demographically balanced sample of each evaluated utility's customers based on age, gender, income, race and ethnicity. Utilities within the same region and of the same type (e.g., electric-only providers) are given equal weight in order to balance the influence of each utility's customers on survey results.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.8 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2014, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the fifth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2015 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being ranked in the top 10 worldwide for innovativeness and community responsibility as part of Fortune's 2015 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company