Energy Fairness Executive Director Paul Griffin released the following statement following the Florida Senate’s passage of CS/CS/CS SB 796 by Senator Joe Gruters, legislation to improve the resilience of the state’s electric grid to extreme weather.
“Today, the Florida Senate took an important step to protect Floridians’ power supply and pocketbooks. We know storm hardening is a worthy investment for consumers because the data clearly proves it works. This legislation enhances consumer protections and PSC oversight of storm hardening plans. All preparation comes with a cost, but the cost of recovering from devastating natural disasters is much higher. Making these prudent investments in resiliency will pay off for Floridians.
“We ask the House to quickly take up and pass this critical legislation for the Sunshine State.”
ABOUT SB 796:
- Lengthens utility storm hardening plans from 3 years to 10.
- Requires PSC approval of storm protection costs annually – currently, they are part of base rates, which are reviewed every four years.
- The PSC noted marked improvement in restoration times due to hardening – Hurricane Irma caused twice as many power outages as Hurricane Wilma, but power was restored twice as quickly after Irma.
- Requires storm hardening plans to focus on areas of greatest need, allowing all communities to benefit, regardless of income.
- Requires storm hardening measures to be appropriate for each area. This bill does not mean every power line will be undergrounded.
Energy Fairness is a national non-profit energy policy organization dedicated to ensuring an affordable and reliable supply of power for consumers.