The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a joint Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (Agreement) for Florida Public Utilities Company’s (FPUC) base rate petition. After questioning all parties and PSC staff, Commissioners decided that the Agreement terms, set through December 2016, were in the best interest of FPUC customers.
Signed by the Office of Public Counsel (OPC), representing all customers, and other parties to the case, the Agreement allows for a base rate increase of $3.75 million, which is $2.02 million lower than the requested base rate of $5.77 million, and sets a Return on Equity of 10.25 percent.
Effective November 2014, FPUC’s Northwest and Northeast Divisions’ residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will see an estimated monthly bill increase of $2.07. The Agreement includes a 2-tier energy charge for residential customers, with a higher charge for usage above 1,000 kWh.
“We are pleased that all parties reached an equitable Agreement that reduces the rate impact on all customer classes and still meets FPUC’s responsibility to provide quality service,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Customers will benefit from the Agreement’s adjustments that will maintain rate stability through 2016.”
In the Agreement, FPUC will suspend its contribution to the storm reserve for two years. The funds will be used to accelerate tree trimming for the Northwest and Northeast Divisions, as well as to fund a study on undergrounding facilities in both divisions.
The company will also implement its new economic development rider to provide competitive incentives to retain and attract new Florida commercial customers. The rider supports the state's economic development and job creation strategies.
FPUC filed its base rate increase petition with the PSC on April 28. The Commission held customer service hearings in FPUC’s service territory in August to hear from the utility’s customers. FPUC provides electric service to approximately 31,000 customers in all or parts of four Florida counties.
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