Utility companies may raise rates to pay for renewable projects.
The Florida House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee passed a measure (ENUS 11-01) this week that would allow investor-owned utilities to raise rates by 2% to recover costs for renewable energy projects. According to the Public Service Commission, that would increase the bill for a small commercial customer by $3.56 a month on average and increase bills for large commercial customers by an average of $356.30 per month. A typical household's bill would rise by $2.83 a month on average, but slightly less for FPL and Tampa Electric Company customers.
Based on 2010 retail revenues, the bill would allow FPL to recover up to $206 million annually, and TECO $43 million, to produce or purchase renewable energy.
A similar bill in the Senate, SB 2078, would additionally require each public utility to make a written offer to conduct a free energy audit of the buildings of each commercial customer within its service territory, if not previously audited in the last five years. The Senate bill also provides for each customer to get a report of the energy savings options and of any available financial assistance prior to December 31, 2016. The measure is on the April 4 agenda of the Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee and has two other committee stops.