FPL efficiency saves you money
Re the March 23 editorial This is news: high rates = lower bills, on Florida Power & Light’s request for a rate increase:
First, FPL’s total electric bills are among the lowest in Florida and well below the national average. As a result of our focus on operating efficiently, our bill is more than $20 lower than state and national averages.
Second, the typical bill would go down by $4.92 monthly, or 4.5 percent, from $109.55 to $104.63 on Jan. 1, 2010. This reflects an increase in the base rate, which is offset by reductions in the cost of fuel based on Feb. 9, 2009, fuel-price projections for 2010 and improvements in fuel efficiency.
The largest part of a customer’s bill comprises two components: Base rates represent 37 percent of the total. Because of our efficiency, FPL’s retail base rates are 17 percent lower now than they were in 1985 — the last time a general base-rate increase was sought and granted — despite inflation of 99 percent for the same period.
The second major component, fuel, represents 51 percent of the total bill. FPL does not profit off the cost of fuel. Nevertheless, FPL has improved systemwide fuel efficiency and mitigated volatile fuel costs to benefit customers.
We have the highest fuel-efficiency rating in the country among utilities that are our size.
FPL continues to work toward better fuel efficiency. For example, our West County Unit 3 in Palm Beach County will be one of the nation’s most efficient, saving more than $330 million in fuel costs over its lifetime.
While we are mindful of the difficult economy, we also are responsible for making prudent investments in the electrical infrastructure. We’re investing to make our infrastructure stronger, in good weather and bad; we’re investing in smart technology. We’re investing in cleaner energy to fight climate change; and we’re investing to increase fuel efficiency and diversity of fuel supply. We are strengthening our state’s essential infrastructure and creating jobs that help secure Florida’s energy future.
TIM FITZPATRICK, vice president, corporate communications, FPL, Juno Beach