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Pensacola leaders target FPL rates

Pensacola for Public Power
Demonstrators gathered outside Pensacola City Hall last week for emergency action to stop the electric shut-offs and assist the working people who are struggling to pay their bills.

In the third similar filing from a Panhandle city, Pensacola leaders have asked the state Public Service Commission to review Florida Power & Light’s rates.

In a letter to the commission, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and City Council President Ann Hill said residents have increasingly turned out at city meetings to express “concerns and frustrations” about power bills and have started an online petition protesting FPL’s rates.

“Many residents are reporting that their electric bill has doubled or tripled and are requesting the city of Pensacola take action before they have to choose between keeping their electricity on or putting food on the table,” said the letter posted Thursday on the commission website.

FPL letter
fpl letter

The filing was similar to a letter sent to the commission by Milton City Manager Randy Jorgenson. Last month, leaders with the City of Crestview sent a letter to FPL warning that they were "looking at their options." The commission in October approved a settlement that included higher base-electric rates for FPL.

In December, it signed off on FPL collecting additional money from customers to pay for higher-than-expected fuel costs, as utilities grapple with increased prices of natural gas. The base-rate settlement included integrating the rates of FPL and the former Gulf Power after a merger.

As part of the transition, former Gulf customers in Northwest Florida pay more than FPL customers in other areas and more than customers of Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co.

In the letter Thursday, Robinson and Hill requested that the commission take steps such as reviewing FPL’s rates to make sure they are “fair and reasonable” and directing FPL to “address inadequacies in fuel diversity and fuel supply reliability which have resulted in unconscionable fuel charges to FPL customers.”

News Service of Florida