Tallahassee Commissioners have given city staff the go-ahead to continue looking into a co-location project with the energy group NextEra—but it comes with the stern warning the commissioners likely won’t approve a final plan that includes power lines along Tram Road. The project would help harden the city’s power grid at a reduced cost and Commissioner Curtis Richardson says while that’s good, it doesn’t balance out the bad.

Ian Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/freefoto/4635123089

Leon County Commissioners want more information about a NextEra Energy project. Reports from the Tallahassee Democrat indicate the project will connect Gulf Power and Florida Power and Light substations by running transmission lines through seven North Florida Counties. But Commissioner Kristen Dozier says at this point local commissioners know little more than is printed in the newspaper—and may not learn more until the company applies for permits.

Blaise Gainey / AP Photo

When Florida is hit by a hurricane, utility companies must go in and help recover immediately. They pay for the cost up front and later charge customers to recoup their losses. A senate bill aims to lower both the price tag and time of recovery by forcing utility companies to strengthen their infrastructure before a storm.

Liammolina via wikimedia commons

Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala wants Florida’s utility companies to stop contributing to campaigns this election cycle and invest in improving equipment instead.

Lance Cheung

While some Florida utility companies have raised concerns about higher than expected fuel prices, Tallahassee Utilities officials say they’re not seeing any cost increases on the horizon. Reese Goad is Tallahassee’s Deputy City Manager. He says a diversified energy portfolio is one thing that helps keep local costs steady and he says the addition of two-planned solar farms will build on that.

Project leader points his construction crew to fix concrete levels on the side of the road.
Caitie Switalski / WFSU News

Legislation is heading to the House floor that would give Florida utilities a break from construction costs. Critics claim it could end up costing taxpayers more.

Don Shall

Utilities won’t be able to up a customer’s rates because of how they read meters if a bill sponsored by  Sen. Charlie Dean (R--Ocala)  becomes law. Dean says some of his constituents saw higher bills after a utility in his area extended its meter reading period. The longer time bumped customers' usage up into a more costly pay bracket. Dean says his bill would prevent that.

Capital Report: 02-06-2015

Feb 6, 2015

In the coming weeks, a Senate panel is slated to take up a comprehensive prison reform proposal aimed at fixing Florida’s troubled prison system. Sascha Cordner is digging into what the overall prison reform package could look like.

Lawmakers set sail this week on a long, complicated journey to rewrite the state’s water policy. As Jim Ash reports, clouds are building as some passengers wonder who’s captaining the ship.

Capital Report: 10-03-2014

Oct 3, 2014

Florida school district officials are writing thousands of new exams to administer to students this school year. Lynn Hatter reports, the effort to create end-of-course tests in subjects not evaluated at the state level, is causing more parents, and local education officials to call for a time out on testing.

A handful of lawmakers have announced plans to file bills to bridle what some are calling “over reaching” utilities. Regan McCarthy reports the measures put new rules in place for everything from when utilities can increase rates to who can lobby the utility’s regulators.

Young protestors dance on Florida Capitol outcroppings, in support of more incentives for solar energy.
Stan Jastrzebski / WFSU News

There was an uprising at the Florida Capitol Thursday. Not long after the sun rose over the building, those advocating more support for solar power followed suit. But it wasn’t long before the event turned political.

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.

City Approves Utility Credit Programs for Businesses

Jun 13, 2012

Tallahassee businesses can now receive utility credits for participating in two new hi-tech programs aimed at harnessing excess electrical power. The Tallahassee City Commission approved the plans on Wednesday.

The plans give credits to businesses for allowing the city to remotely control their energy use—say, raising or lowering thermostat temperatures— and to run their generators during off-peak times. Reese Goad, of Utility Business and Customer services, said customers and the city should benefit from the plans.

Tallahassee natural gas customers should see lower charges on their next utility bills. As Sascha Cordner reports, at the start of April, natural gas rates for residential customers decreased by three-percent.

General Manager for Tallahassee’s Underground Utilities Mike Tadros says thanks to more residents turning to natural gas as a fuel source, the city is seeing much lower rates.