Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the adoption of more robust peak demand and energy conservation goals for utilities that will establish Florida as a leader in energy efficiency.
Goals were set using the “Enhanced Total Resource Cost” (E-TRC) test, making the adopted goals much higher than those proposed by the utilities over the next ten years. The Commission required utilities to consider energy saving measures that have a quick (two-year) payback period when establishing their energy efficiency programs to meet the new conservation goals.
The Commission also encouraged utilities to expand their conservation education programs and authorized investor-owned utilities to provide up to $24.5 million dollars in incentives for customer-owned solar water heaters and PV systems, almost doubling the amount of rebates currently available from the Governor’s Energy Office.
“Energy efficiency is an effective conservation resource in Florida and should play a key role in meeting our growing electric energy needs,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “The goals we approved today are achievable, and customers who implement the programs will save on their energy bills by reducing utilities’ fuel costs and their need to build more power plants.”
Requiring utilities to implement 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, Progress Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, Gulf Power Company, Florida Public Utilities Company, Orlando Utilities Commission, and JEA.
In 2008, the Legislature placed additional emphasis on the need to reduce customer demand for electricity and to recognize savings from customer-owned renewable energy systems. The Commission is required to set goals, at least once every five years, for each of the seven utilities subject to FEECA. The Commission also evaluates the full technical potential of all available conservation measures, including customer-owned renewable energy systems. In setting 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 but must help pay for the programs.
Within 90 days after the PSC issues its order approving the goals, each utility must file with the PSC for approval an implementation plan of programs to meet the established goals. The Commission will consider the utilities’ proposed program plans at a future agenda conference.
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 monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.