Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today submitted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) draft rule to the Legislature, as required by Section 366.92(3), Florida Statutes. The RPS rule includes aggressive standards of 20 percent renewable energy production by 2020, but provides for close oversight by the PSC to balance the interests of encouraging renewables while protecting rate payers.
“Aggressive goals are necessary to step up production of renewable resources and further diversify our energy supplies,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “The draft rule makes it clear to renewable energy developers that Florida is open for business, that we are serious about environmental stewardship, and that ratepayers have not been forgotten.”
The draft rule balances the Legislature’s intent to promote new and protect existing renewable resources, enhance fuel diversity, encourage investment in the state, and improve environmental conditions, while minimizing costs to residents. Commissioners considered extensive technical input from environmental, government, utility, and industry representatives before approving the draft RPS rule.
Interim renewable RPS goals include seven percent renewable energy production by January 1, 2013; 12 percent by January 1, 2016; and 18 percent by January 1, 2019. To comply with these goals, each investor owned utility (IOU) must produce or purchase sufficient Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). RECs may be produced or purchased from both utility-owned or non-utility in-state renewable resources of all capacity sizes.
To ensure that utility customers are protected from excessive rate increases, the rule initially caps incremental compliance costs at two percent of each IOU’s annual retail revenues. Annual utility company reporting requirements will allow the PSC to monitor ongoing economic conditions and associated impacts to residents and make adjustments to the rate cap as needed. The rule also establishes an annual cost recovery clause for reasonable and prudent costs associated with renewables, and IOUs are required to identify RPS compliance costs as a separate line item on customer bills.
Florida’s municipal and cooperative electric utilities are required, by the rule, to annually report their efforts in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The PSC will review the RPS at least every three years to ensure that the goals remain affordable and continue to meet the state’s changing energy needs as more renewable resource options become available.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and the monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.