Diverse Voices Call on State Regulators to Use Energy Smarter
A diverse set of stakeholders – from clean energy and community-based organizations to business, health, and faith voices – today filed comments calling on the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the agency that regulates the state’s largest electric utilities, to modernize its rule for establishing energy efficiency goals. The PSC will likely consider a proposed rule for adoption early next year as part of an ongoing rulemaking docket.
The clean energy stakeholders maintain that outdated energy-efficient goal setting practices allowed by the current three-decades-old rule have caused Florida to fall near the bottom of state rankings in helping customers reduce energy use through utility-led programs. The existing rule must be meaningfully changed to require the state’s utilities to invest in low-cost energy efficiency, which helps lower bills for all customers.
Among those advocating for a modernized rule are the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Earthjustice, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Southface, The CLEO Institute, and Advanced Energy Economy.
“The need to modernize state policy for using energy smarter is even more urgent, given the way power bills are skyrocketing due to fossil fuel price spikes,” said George Cavros, Florida Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Unfortunately, the current PSC rule revisions falls short and, if approved, will effectively cement high power bills for Florida’s hard working families for years to come.”
In addition to the comments filed by the groups of stakeholders, community-based groups and others – including Catalyst Miami, Alianza, Healthy Gulf, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action – will submit a sign-on letter asking the PSC to modernize Florida’s energy efficiency policies.
“Thousands of letters have been filed by customers in this docket calling for modernizing the state’s 30-year-old energy efficiency goal-setting rule. Much has changed in 30 years,” said the comment letter from community-based groups. “Using energy smarter is more critical now than ever for hard-working families and the state’s economy. Let’s not miss this unique rulemaking opportunity to remove roadblocks to lower bills and keep energy dollars in our local communities.”
“The state should scale up investment in lower cost energy efficiency as it helps move families off the high power bill treadmill,” said a comment letter from two dozen Florida clergy members. “Isn’t it time to modernize 30-year-old practices that have kept Florida at the bottom of state rankings for using energy smarter?”