Rejecting its staff recommendation, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted to continue its 2015 peak demand and energy conservation goals for electric utilities subject to the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA). The Commissioners also chose to actively pursue the modernization of FEECA to generate higher efficiency goals with next generation programs.
Commissioners determined the 2020 proposed goals were not robust enough and expressed concern that some investor-owned utilities had goals of zero for the first time. They agreed that energy efficiency is an effective conservation resource in Florida and should be a key factor in meeting Florida’s future electric energy needs. The PSC considers the costs and benefits of conservation to all customers in setting the goals because all customers—both participants and non-participants—pay for the programs.
Consumers and businesses have advanced in implementing energy efficiency measures, and Commissioners suggested that changes to the existing FEECA statute are needed. In addition to utility conservation programs, improved building codes and appliance efficiency standards have made a measureable difference in improving demand-side management programs.
Requiring utilities to offer cost-effective energy efficiency programs is part of the 1980 FEECA, designed to reduce the need for additional power plants. Since FEECA’s inception, PSC-approved conservation programs have reduced Florida’s total annual electric energy consumption by an estimated 10,694 gigawatt hours (GWh).* Every year, the savings from these conservation programs continue to reduce Florida’s electric energy consumption.
Utilities subject to FEECA requirements include Florida Power & Light Company; Duke Energy Florida, LLC; 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 a ten-year period 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 for approval. The Commission will consider the utilities’ proposed program plans at a future Commission Conference.
* 1 GWh is equivalent to 1 million KWh, and on average, a Florida residential customer uses approximately 12,950 KWh each year.
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