First established in 1995, the rules governing recovery of economic development expenses for electric utilities were due for an update, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) decided today.
Beginning in 2020, the cap on expenditures by investor-owned electric utilities to attract businesses and create jobs will be increased from the existing $3 million set in 1995 to the greater of $10 million or 0.225 percent of annual revenues. This update of the rules is intended to encourage economic development and account for the effects of inflation over the past two decades.
In addition, the Commission amended the rules so that as companies increase economic development expenses, the percentage of those expenses borne by shareholders also increases. This change ensures that the utilities and ratepayers share in economic development costs and further incentivizes sound investments by the utilities.
“When electric utilities attract and grow businesses, costs are spread more broadly and that ultimately decreases consumer bills,” said PSC Commissioner Gary Clark. “These programs have been effective in the past and it was time to update the rules so that utilities can continue to create jobs, and grow Florida’s economy.”
A rule development workshop was held at the Commission in January 2019. Florida Power & Light Company, Gulf Power Company, and Tampa Electric Company–the joint petitioners–and the Office of Public Counsel participated.
No rate increases will occur between rate cases, but investor-owned utilities will file their development expenses for PSC review. Future bill impacts for residential and small commercial customers are expected to be minimal as a result of any increase in economic development spending by utilities.
For additional information, visit floridapsc.com.
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