In a 3-2 vote, Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved peak demand and energy conservation goals for utilities that keep customer rates in check. Commissioners also agreed to hold a workshop inviting public input on solar programs that would be cost effective in Florida.
Goals were set using a cost-effectiveness analysis test that allows all ratepayers, participants and nonparticipants, to benefit from the utilities’ conservation programs. Utilities were also directed to show how low-income customers will be made aware of conservation program options. The near term impact should slightly reduce all customer bills.
“Energy efficiency is an effective conservation resource in Florida and should play a key role in meeting our state’s future electric energy needs,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “The goals we approved today reflect current marketplace conditions and appliance and efficiency standards, and minimize the rate impact for all customers, whether or not they choose to participate. By approving a workshop on solar programs, we hope to develop options that are both feasible and cost-effective for customers.”
In setting the goals, the Commission considers the costs and benefits of conservation programs to customers who choose to participate in a program, as well as those who do not participate, because all customers pay for the programs.
Requiring utilities to offer cost-effective energy efficiency programs is part of the 1980 Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA), designed to reduce the need for additional power plants. Utilities subject to FEECA requirements include Florida Power & Light Company, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, Gulf Power Company, Florida Public Utilities Company, Orlando Utilities Commission, and JEA. The Commission is required to set goals at least once every five years for each FEECA utility.
Within 90 days after the PSC issues its order approving the goals, each utility must submit its proposed programs and implementation plans to meet its established goals for approval. The Commission will consider the utilities’ proposed program plans at a future Commission Conference.
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