JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company today filed its formal request for a base rate increase with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The requested increase would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2013.
Today’s filing was consistent with the company’s notice to the PSC in January that an adjustment would be necessary because the company’s existing rate agreement, which effectively froze base rates for three years, expires at the end of 2012.
FPL expects that, even with the change, its customer bills will still be the lowest in the state and well below the national average.
The company is requesting a base rate increase of $6.97 a month, or about 23 cents a day, on the base portion of a typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill offset in part by an estimated $4.49 a month net decrease in other components of a typical bill, including lower fuel usage, lower fuel prices and other adjustments.
As a result, the typical residential customer bill would increase about $2.48 a month, or about 8 cents a day – a 2.6 percent increase.
The adjustment is needed to pay for increases in the cost of doing business and to begin paying for a new, high-efficiency natural gas power plant after it enters service in June 2013. The plant will use considerably less fuel to generate electricity, which in turn helps to keep customer bills low over the long term and reduces the impact of the base rate request.
“We’ve worked hard to minimize the required increase, and we’re committed to working equally hard to make sure our customers continue to have the lowest electric bills in the state, excellent reliability and top-notch customer service. In today’s competitive economy, clean, low-cost, high-quality electric service is an advantage for our customers and our state,” FPL President Eric Silagy said.
The majority of FPL residential customers use less than 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month, although usage varies from household to household.
To enable residential customers to see the specific impact on their bills based on their individual use of electricity, FPL launched a new, online calculator at www.FPL.com/answers. Residential customers can input their individual kilowatt-hour usage to see the estimated effect on their bills in 2013.
In addition to the bill calculator, customers can find more details about the need for the increase, what FPL has done to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, the latest on construction of the company’s new high-efficiency natural gas power plant and other information throughout the rate-setting process at www.FPL.com/answers.
FPL’s total revenue request is $690.4 million. In addition to investing in new, highly efficient power plants that lower customers’ fuel costs, Silagy emphasized that the company is committed to continuing to operate efficiently. Even while the costs of essential products and services have risen dramatically, FPL is in the best 10 percent of U.S. utilities for operating efficiently, based on low operating and maintenance (O&M) costs per kilowatt-hour of retail sales.
Information for Residential Customers
With the proposed base rate increase and the latest estimates for fuel and other components of electric service, FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is projected to increase about 2.6 percent in 2013, based on the following adjustments:
Even after the increase, FPL’s typical residential customer bill is expected to remain the lowest of the state’s 55 electric utilities and well below the national average.
Information for Business Customers
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while its typical residential customer bills, based on data available in December 2011, are about 25 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
Cautionary Statements And Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s control. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, among others, statements concerning the effects of FPL’s rate request. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “will,” “will likely result,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “aim,” “potential,” “projection,” “forecast,” “predict,” “goals,” “target,” “outlook,” “should,” “would” or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy and FPL; risks of disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of reduction or elimination of existing government support policies on demand for generation from renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (NEER); impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of potential regulatory action to broaden the scope of regulation of OTC financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased cost of operations and exposure to liabilities attributable to environmental laws and regulations applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy and FPL resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; risks associated with threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s business or the businesses of third parties; risk of lack of availability of adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses; risk to NEER of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NEER’s full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NEER to hedge effectively its assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, volumes, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures; potential volatility of NextEra Energy’s results of operations caused by sales of power on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy’s ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s hedging and trading procedures and associated risk management tools to protect against significant losses; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NEER; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy and FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL’s retail businesses of compromise of sensitive customer data; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; increasing costs of health care plans; lack of a qualified workforce or the loss or retirement of key employees; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures at nuclear generation facilities of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NEER’s or FPL’s nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards posed to their nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; risk of impairment of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s liquidity from inability of creditors to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s defined benefit pension plan’s funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy’s investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy’s performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy’s ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; and effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets of the market price of NextEra Energy’s common stock. NextEra Energy and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other SEC filings, and this press release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.