Florida Public Service Commission

Left to right: Brad Ashwell, Ben Wilcox and Alan Stonecipher.
Nick Evans

Government watchdog group Integrity Florida says the fox is guarding the henhouse when it comes to Florida’s utilities and their regulators.  The group wants to insulate the Public Service Commission from the political fray in the state Legislature.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC. / https://infopost.spectraenergy.com/InfoPost/STTHome.asp?Pipe=STT

Residents near a stretch of the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Central Florida are reporting the sulfur-like smell of a gas leak. But the company behind the utility says the emissions are from an odorant leak, not from natural gas.

Liammolina via wikimedia commons

The application period to fill a vacant seat on the Public Service Commission has closed. 

Nick Evans

State officials are taking applications for a newly vacated seat on the Public Service Commission.

Florida Public Service Commission

State regulators are rejecting Duke Energy’s request for a mid-year rate hike to cover an unexpected rise in the cost of fuel.

Florida Power and Light

A proposal allowing Florida Power and Light to charge customers for exploratory natural gas drilling has cleared a key senate hurdle, despite numerous consumer concerns. The company calls the move a hedge against future fuel increases.

Gulf Power

Gulf Power customers in Northwest Florida will be seeing a rate increase thanks to an agreement reached with the Florida Public Service Commission

Incoming Senate budget chair Jack Latvala is criticizing Tallahassee’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Hermine and is threatening to put locally owned utilities under state regulation.  But not everyone agrees it would be a good idea.

Ian Britton

The Public Service Commission is considering more than a billion dollars in rate hikes for Florida Power and Light.  The Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers, wants to see rates decline.

Outgoing PSC Commissioner Lisa Edgar.
Public Service Commission website

The Governor will have to select from among three finalists to fill an opening on the public service commission.  The winner will take over for outgoing commissioner Lisa Edgar.

Michael Rivera via wikimedia commons

Public Service Commissioner Lisa Edgar won’t seek a fourth term.  That may give the inside track to Governor Rick Scott’s favored insurance commissioner nominee.

The newest PSC report suggests landline services are increasingly being put out to pasture in favor of wireless service.
Pat Dalton via Flickr

Florida consumers continue to gobble up mobile services according to a new report issued by the Public Service Commission.

Ian Britton

 

A dispute over utility territories has sparks flying as Indian River County works to push Vero Beach’s service back across city lines. Meanwhile stake holders are engaged in an energetic debate over a bill that could impact municipally owned utilities across the state. 

About 60 percent of Vero Beach’s city-owned-utility customers live outside the city limits in Indian River County. Rep. Debbie Mayfield (R-Vero Beach) says that means the majority of the utility customers have no recourse if they have a dispute with the utility. 

Florida Senate

Lawmakers turned up the heat Thursday on the Public Service Commission. Senator Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, unveiled the latest proposal to put more distance between commissioners and the powerful utilities they are supposed to regulate.

On the same day two PSC members were sworn in, Latvala told reporters he was filing a bill that would require commissioners to undergo ethics training. Gov. Rick Scott recently appointed one of the commissioners, former Panama City lawmaker Jimmy Patronis, despite the fact that Patronis has no regulatory experience.

Florida Senate

  The Public Service Commission is the subject of a number of bills expected to come up next legislative session, including one filed by Sen. John Legg (R-Lutz) 

“What it does is it requires individuals who serve on the Public Service Commission to come from geographical regions of the state that are represented by the courts and the court jurisdiction," Legg says.  "And the reason for that is there’s been some considerable concern over the lack of understanding of what constituents go through from the Public Service Commission.”

nuclear plant
K Michiels via Flickr

Duke Energy customers will get a break on their electric bills. A decision by the Public Service Commission will return $54 million the utility had charged consumers for a nuclear power project in Levy County.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr

Two Florida energy companies are petitioning regulators to charge customers to cover the costs of building nuclear power plants. The Florida Public Service Commission will address the issue at public hearings starting Monday.

Last August, Duke Energy halted construction of two nuclear plants in Levy County after charging customers more than $1 billion to cover construction costs. Now, the company is asking to continue charging customers for unrecovered costs from that project.

Courtesy of Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  The Florida Public Service Commission has voted to postpone a decision on whether Duke Energy Florida can recover its investment in the abandoned Crystal River nuclear power plant project. The Public Service Commission’s decision gives Duke Energy the authority to recover costs for upgrades on the Tampa-area plant…for now. The plant shut down several years ago for repairs, but Duke officials eventually decided not to reopen it. Still, Crystal River customers will be charged an extra 89 cents per kilowatt hour starting in January.

Buying A Washer? State Says Keep Energy Star In Mind

Feb 26, 2013
Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

Saving energy can be as easy as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or as hardcore as fitting your entire roof with solar panels.  Two Florida agencies are working together to make those choices just a little bit easier on both the planet and the wallet.

On Monday, Florida energy regulators met with the CEO of Duke Energy, which merged with Progress Energy last month to become the largest utility company in America. The board asked for reassurance that the controversial merger and a disabled nuclear plant won’t hurt the company’s Florida customers.

The Duke-Progress merger had a rocky start, with the resignation of former Progress Energy CEO, Bill Johnson. Two Progress board members, who had believed he was going to lead the combined company, were so upset that they also stepped down.

A financial report released Wednesday shows Florida’s second largest utility has seen a significant drop in its net income. An extended outage at the company’s Crystal River Power Plant attributed to the fall in Progress Energy’s second quarter earnings.

Florida Power and Light officials say a new 1,277 megawatt power plant at Port Everglades in Broward County will save customers money and be better for the environment, but Regan McCarthy reports some argue the company is paying more attention to the needs of Wall Street than to rate payers.