Hurricane Matthew made us more aware of how crucial electricity is to our everyday needs and lives.
This fact is also highlighted each October during National Energy Awareness Month. Businesses, educators,
and homeowners have recognized Energy Awareness Month every October since its inception by a presidential proclamation
in 1991 to promote smart energy choices that support our economy, protect our environment, and increase energy independence.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the Florida Public
Service Commission (PSC) to remind consumers how their energy habits can make a difference to reduce their energy usage and their utility bills.
Each October, the PSC holds public events to promote energy efficiency and conservation.
I have experienced firsthand how energy efficiencies can affect your electric bill and your home's comfort,
since I've had a home energy audit. An energy audit can help pinpoint home improvements and simplify lifestyle
changes that could put more money in your pocket. Florida's investor-owned utilities also offer programs or products that provide
more customer options and control over their energy usage and, therefore, their electric bill. I highly recommend that every home owner take
advantage of their utility's energy audit, which is usually free, and other home energy saving programs.
We take energy savings seriously at the PSC, as reflected by our current Commissioners' participation in past Energy Awareness Month events:
Commissioner Lisa Polak Edgar observed firsthand how the PSC's net metering rule is working thanks to a Duke Energy Florida customer
voluntarily displaying his home's solar photovoltaic system.
Commissioner Art Graham joined Beaches Energy Services representatives to help perform a residential home energy audit.
Commissioner Ronald Brisé and the former City of Tallahassee Mayor helped a resident receive energy-saving home improvements through
the City's Neighborhood REACH program—designed to lower home utility usage.
Commissioner Jimmy Patronis recognized the energy efficiency efforts of VizCo's CEO Chris Cantolino. The local business's
innovative solar array powers its 26,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility.
We also have exchanged our suits for jeans and participated in a locally-sponsored Big Bend Habitat for Humanity "build"
using energy efficient construction methods. To reach students, we teamed up with local high schoolers to teach their younger
peers how to conserve energy in an original play, Turn It On; Turn It Off, performed during Energy Awareness Month.
Energy Awareness Month is a good time for all homeowners and businesses to assess how much energy they're consuming and identify ways to reduce waste and costs.
One month simply isn't enough for me, so I work year-round to help consumers know that energy efficiency and conservation are critical components of Florida's
energy strategy. Here are my suggestions to help you start conserving energy:
Schedule an energy audit!
Switch to ENERGY STAR appliances, and choose energy-saving lighting.
Install and set a programmable thermostat.
Beware of phantom power users! Unplug phone chargers, computers, and small appliances when not in use.
Turn off lights, ceiling fans, TVs, and entertainment systems when not in use.
Becoming energy efficient is the right thing to do, and I hope you will implement these energy and cost-saving measures. If you need additional assistance,
contact your local utility and visit the PSC's website, www.floridapsc.com.
The website for the Florida Office of Energy, is also a good resource for energy efficiency measures.
So, as our recent PSC consumer tip urges, "Remember, it's fall back when changing your clocks,
but don't fall behind on your energy savings." Keep energy conservation a year-round plan for you and your family!
Hurricane Matthew Restoration Efforts
Florida residents and businesses across the state followed the Governor's directives and fully prepared for Hurricane Matthew, a Category 3 storm that caused
heavy damage along Florida's east coast before its exit on October 7. Within four days following the storm, Florida's utilities showed remarkable progress
by restoring power to 1.1 million customers statewide.
The PSC appreciates the team work and mutual aid between utilities that worked together in hard-hit communities to return power to schools,
businesses, and homes as quickly as possible. Overall, the fast, efficient, and thorough response of Florida's utilities to aggressively
restore power until the last customer's lights were back on is a tribute to our state's resiliency!
PSC employees worked around the clock at Florida's Emergency Operations Center to make sure accurate power outage/restoration reports were released to the public.
Other PSC employees spent hours managing or manning Florida's Emergency Information Line to provide residents with appropriate shelter,
evacuation route, and other storm-related information. I am proud of the PSC's contributions to help our state weather Hurricane Matthew.
Electric Industry Docket No. 20160204 09/07/2016 - Petition for approval of tariff changes to implement approved generation base rate adjustment, by Tampa Electric Company.
Gas Industry Docket No. 20160199 09/01/2016 - Joint petition for approval of gas reliability infrastructure program cost recovery factors by Florida Public Utilities Company, Florida Public Utilities Company-Fort Meade, and the Florida Division of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation.
Docket No. 20160201 09/01/2016 - Petition for approval of 2015 true-up, projected 2016 true-up and 2017 revenue requirements and surcharges associated with cast iron/bare steel pipe replacement rider, by Peoples Gas System.
Telecommunications Industry Docket No. 20160205 09/08/2016 - Application for certificate to provide local telecommunications service by Synergem Technologies, Inc.
Docket No. 20160212 09/19/2016 - Application for certificate to provide local telecommunications service by TNE Telephone, Inc.
September / October Notable FPSC Orders
Electric Industry Order No. PSC-2016-0361A-PAA-EI
♦ Docket No:
09/13/2016 - Amendatory Order PSC-16-0361A-PAA-EI amending the retirement date on page 3 to March 31, 2016; Order PSC-16-0361-PAA-EI is reaffirmed in all other respects. [See DN 07092-16].
Order No. PSC-2016-0362-TRF-EI
♦ Docket No:
08/29/2016 - Order PSC-16-0362-TRF-EI approving Duke Energy's revenue requirement for the Hines Chillers Uprate Project; phase 2 revenue requirement and rate increase shall be addressed in Duke Energy's separately filed petition; proposed tariffs and associated charges shall go into effect with first cycle in November 2016; order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; if no timely protest, docket to be closed; protest due 9/19/16.
Order No. PSC-2016-0366-PAA-EU
♦ Docket No:
08/31/2016 - PAA Order PSC-16-0366-PAA-EU approving proposed territorial agreement in Polk County between City of Bartow and Duke Energy; order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; if no timely protest, docket to be closed; protest due 9/21/16.
Telecommunications Industry Order No. PSC-2016-0380-PAA-TX
♦ Docket No:
09/16/2016 - PAA Order PSC-16-0380-PAA-TX granting WAHL TV Certificate of Authority No. 8898 to provide telecommunications service; order shall serve as WAHL TV's certificate and should be retained by WAHL TV as proof of certification; if no protest, order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; docket to be closed if order becomes final; protest due 10/7/16.
Order No. PSC-2016-0405-PAA-TX
♦ Docket No:
09/22/2016 - PAA Order PSC-16-0405-PAA-TX granting Budget's request to relinquish its Eligible Telecommunications Carrier designation; order to become final and effective upon issuance of CO; if no timely protest, docket to be closed; protest due 10/13/15.
Order No. PSC-2016-0411-PAA-TX
♦ Docket No:
09/23/2016 - PAA Order PSC-16-0411-PAA-TX granting Phone Club ETC status; if no protest, order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; if order becomes final, docket to be closed; protest due 10/14/16.
Wastewater Industry Order No. PSC-2016-0406-FOF-SU
♦ Docket No:
09/22/2016 - Order PSC-16-0406-FOF-SU approving Commercial Utilities' application to amend Certificate No. 164-S effective 9/13/2016; order shall serve as Commercial Utilities' amended certificate and should be retained by Commercial Utilities; Commercial Utilities shall charge the customers in the territory added the rates and charges contained in its current tariffs until a change is authorized by this Commission in a subsequent proceeding; docket to be closed.
Water Industry Order No. PSC-2016-0364-PCO-WU
♦ Docket No:
08/29/2016 - Order PSC-16-0364-PCO-WU suspending Bocilla Utilities' proposed final rates and approving interim rates; docket to remain open pending Commission's final action on the requested final water rates.