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Home Page > Consumer Assistance > Consumer Portal > PSC Commission Updates > Commission Update

Chairman Brown FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

Commission Update

October 2017


Julie I. Brown
Chairman

Hurricane Irma: What We Know
and What We Need to Know!

Florida's utilities have just restored power to millions of customers affected by Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. In fact, 2017 marks the first time in over a century that 10 consecutive Atlantic storms reached hurricane strength. While we hope that Florida escapes another storm event, there is about a month remaining in the 2017 hurricane season. As the State continues to recover from Irma, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) wants consumers to remember to stay prepared.

Irma was much bigger than Andrew that devastated southwest Florida as a Category 5 hurricane in 1992. At her peak, Irma's sustained winds were 185 miles per hour, and she cut power to almost two-thirds of Florida's utility customers. We experienced first-hand what it meant to be hot and in the dark while witnessing devastated homes and businesses, streets littered with debris, and downed trees. As Governor Rick Scott promised after Irma hit, "We will not stop until 100% of power has been restored."

Now, we want to hear from customers about their power restoration time and how utility information was provided before, during, and after the storm. Customer comments will be extremely valuable as part of the Commission's ongoing review of utility hurricane preparedness and restoration actions. Customers can click on a link easily located on the PSC's homepage, www.floridapsc.com, and submit their comments.

The PSC plans to review utilities' hurricane preparedness and restoration actions, exploring the potential to further minimize infrastructure damage that results in outages. A docket (#20170215) was established to collect and analyze forensic data on the utilities' transmission and distribution facilities to discern the type and cause of damage. This extensive data collection and detailed analysis will include a workshop on hurricane preparedness with input from all electric utilities and stakeholders, including comments submitted by customers. Upon the conclusion of data collection and analysis, and consideration of public comment, the Commission will consider options for immediate action.

During Irma, PSC staff manned Florida's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) ESF 12 Power, working around-the-clock to help coordinate with utilities to get families, businesses, and communities back to normal. Collaboration between utilities throughout Florida and other states meant tens of thousands of workers were on-the-ground helping speed restoration efforts as quickly and safely as possible. We should all be grateful for the massive collaboration across the country to help with the restoration efforts and for Governor Scott's leadership during this trying time in Florida's history.

The hardest thing for us to remember is that utilities must first restore power to critical facilities and to the largest number of customers as safely and as quickly as possible. When you're without power, it's difficult to remember that your utility is doing the best it can to restore power to everyone.

I am proud of the PSC's hurricane recovery contributions. During Irma's aftermath, not only were PSC employees working in the EOC to make sure accurate power outage/restoration reports were released to the public, but other employees spent hours managing or manning Florida's Emergency Information Line to provide residents with appropriate shelter, evacuation route, and other storm-related information.

The old adage, Be Prepared, never gets old! For us, hurricane preparation starts well in advance of a storm. The PSC holds annual hurricane preparedness workshops, usually in the spring, where utilities present their preparedness plans for the upcoming hurricane season. This year, Florida's electric utilities and the Division of Emergency Management updated the PSC on their storm preparation efforts in April. (Copies of their presentations are here.)

Utility storm plans are designed to minimize electrical outages and help communities, businesses, and families return to normalcy as quickly as possible. The plans include PSC-mandated storm preparedness initiatives; facility inspections; maintenance and repairs; flooding and storm surge mitigation; wooden pole inspections; and coordination with other utilities, government, and community groups. Still, with a storm of Irma's magnitude, damage was unavoidable, even with the best preparations.

Please remember to visit our website and submit your comments to help ensure storm preparedness continues to improve in Florida. Your comments and the data collected from utilities' storm preparedness and restoration activities will provide valuable information for future storm seasons.


Julie I. Brown, FPSC Chairman      


CONTACT THE PSC:

On-line: www.FloridaPSC.com
E-mail contact@psc.state.fl.us
Call toll-free number: 800-342-3552
Fax toll-free: 800-511-0809

Send a letter to: The Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850



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November Commission Calendar

11/6 TECO Settlement Agreement
11/7 Commission Conference
11/8 Water and Wastewater ROE - Staff Workshop
11/10 Veterans Day Holiday
11/23-24 Thanksgiving Holidays

October News Releases

Gary F. Clark Sworn in as Florida PSC Commissioner

Florida PSC Plans Hurricane Preparedness and Restoration Review

Florida PSC Urges Panhandle Residents to Be Prepared

PSC Invites Utility Customer Comment about Hurricane Response

PSC Special Commission Conference on Nuclear Cost Recovery Set for Tuesday

Florida PSC to Hold Electric Vehicle Charging Roundtable Tuesday

Florida PSC Decides Nuclear Cost Recovery for FPL

Florida PSC Holds Electric Vehicle Charging Roundtable

Duke Energy Settlement, Cost Recovery Hearings Set for Wednesday

Florida PSC Approves Settlement Agreement for Duke Energy

PSC Encourages Conservation at Home for Energy Awareness Month

September / October Notable FPSC Dockets

Electric Industry
Docket No. 20170212
10/02/2017   -   Petition for one-year extension of voluntary solar partnership rider and program, by Florida Power & Light Company.

Docket No. 20170215
10/03/2017   -   Review of electric utility hurricane preparedness and restoration actions.

Telecommunications Industry
Docket No. 20170211
10/02/2017   -   Application for certificate to provide local telecommunications service by Citadel Design and Construction, LLC.

Wastewater Industry
Docket No. 20170223
10/16/2017   -   Application for establishment of wastewater allowance for funds prudently invested (AFPI) charges in Highlands, Lake, Marion, Pasco and Pinellas Counties, by Utilities, Inc. of Florida.

Water and Wastewater Industry
Docket No. 20170218
10/10/2017   -   Application for staff-assisted rate case in Polk County by Grenelefe Resort Utility, Inc.

Docket No. 20170219
10/10/2017   -   Application for staff-assisted rate case in Polk County by River Ranch Water Management, L.L.C.

September / October Notable FPSC Orders

Electric Industry
Order No. PSC-2017-0384-PCO-EI   ♦ Docket No:   20170210
10/04/2017   -   Order PSC-2017-0384-PCO-EI granting TECO’s petition for limited proceeding to approve 2017 amended and restated stipulation and settlement agreement; establishing procedure and setting procedural schedule.

Order No. PSC-2017-0392-CO-EI   ♦ Docket No:   20170074
10/16/2017   -   Consummating Order PSC-2017-0392-CO-EI makes order PSC-2017-0356-TRF-EI effective and final; docket to be closed.

Gas Industry
Order No. PSC-2017-0390-PAA-GU   ♦ Docket No:   20170176
10/13/2017   -   PAA Order PSC-2017-0390-PAA-GU approving Chesapeake’s special contract with Sebring; if no protest, order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; if order becomes final, docket to be closed; protest due 11/3/17.

Generic Dockets
Order No. PSC-2017-0382-NOR-OT   ♦ Docket No:   20170163
10/04/2017   -   Order PSC-2017-0382-NOR-OT noticing repeal of Rules 25-22.107, rulemaking proceeding – adoptions, and 25-22.039, intervention, and the amendment of Rules 25-22.060, motion for reconsideration of final orders, and 28-40.001, exceptions to the uniform rules of procedure, FAC; attached notices of proposed rules appeared in the 10/4/17 FAR; if timely requested, a hearing will be held at a time and place to be announced in a future notice; written requests for hearing and written comments on the rules must be received no later than 10/25/17.

Wastewater Industry
Order No. PSC-2017-0383-PAA-SU   ♦ Docket No:   20160165
10/04/2017   -   PAA Order PSC-2017-0383-PAA-SU approving rate increase for Beaches and final order on recovery of rate case expenses, temporary rates and accounting adjustments; docket to remain open for staff's verification that the revised tariff sheets and customer notices have been filed by Beaches and approved by staff; Beaches to submit a letter confirming that the adjustments for all applicable NARUC USOA primary accounts have been made; Commission to address Phase II of docket; order to become final and effective upon issuance of CO; protest due 10/25/17.