FPL rates to drop in 2008 says utility

Juno Beach, FL, Sept. 4, 2007 — Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) said that residential customers will see rates decline by nearly one percent beginning in January 2008 as a result of greater efficiency at fossil fuel generating plants. Industrial and commercial customers will also be paying slightly less on their monthly bills. This is the second year in a row that FPL has reduced rates, the company said.

The company said current price projections could be altered by unforeseen events, such as a major hurricane striking the Gulf of Mexico. For example, when Hurricane Katrina damaged fuel production and transportation facilities in and around the Gulf two years ago, prices for natural gas and fuel oil used at FPL’s power plants rose precipitously.

In its annual filings with the Florida Public Service Commission on fuel costs and related items, the company projected that starting next January, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will see monthly bills decline by $0.94, to $102.49. In contrast, residential customers nationwide who use 1,000 kWh a month pay $108.79, according to the Edison Electric Institute. FPL commercial and industrial customers will see reductions anywhere from just over half of one percent to nearly one percent on their monthly bills.

While FPL projects that natural gas prices will remain flat and residual oil fuel prices will increase moderately next year, a significant factor helping to drive down costs is increased fuel efficiency at FPL’s fossil fuel power plants. FPL’s fossil fuel power plant fleet is the top performer among large-scale utilities nationwide and has become 12 percent more efficient in the past five years, said the company. Efficiency at these facilities has grown by 17 percent since 1990, FPL said.

As a fossil power plant increases in efficiency, it can generate the same megawatt hour with less fuel, thus saving money for FPL customers. Burning fuel more efficiently has the added benefit of emitting less greenhouse gases per megawatt hour produced. FPL’s power plants rank among the cleanest in the nation. FPL’s parent company, FPL Group Inc., has called for mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The company reported that it will spend $6.1 billion for fuel in 2007 and projects it will buy $6.2 billion worth of fuel next year.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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