JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company has filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to modify its electric service offerings to help support the state’s economic recovery by providing an incentive for businesses to start up, expand or relocate here.
To promote new investment that expands Florida’s economic base and in keeping with Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to foster economic growth, FPL’s economic development rate proposal would offer discounted electric service for new or expanding businesses that add a minimum of 500 kW of new electric load and create at least 10 new jobs per 500 kW of added load by June 1, 2013. After June 1, 2013, customers wishing to take advantage of the rate would be required to add 25 new jobs per 500 kW of new electric load.
“FPL wants to help Florida compete for new business because when businesses thrive and grow, they drive the economy and create jobs, which benefits all Floridians,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera.
Currently, approximately 3,700 of FPL’s 500,000 business customers are over the 500 kW level of load. They range from supermarkets and department stores to manufacturing facilities and hotels.
If FPL’s proposal is approved by the PSC, eligible business customers would receive declining discounts over four years on their standard base energy and demand charges: 20 percent in the first year, 15 percent in the second, 10 percent in the third and 5 percent in the fourth.
To target the re-use of existing vacant property with associated electrical equipment already in place, eligible business customers adding the requisite new load and new jobs in commercial or industrial space that has been vacant for more than six months would receive an extra incentive. In this case, the declining discounts would extend over five years instead of four: 25 percent in the first year, 20 percent in the second, 15 percent in the third, 10 percent in the fourth and 5 percent in the fifth.
“While our typical customer bills are well below the national average, we recognize there are costs associated with starting a new business or relocating an existing one, and so our message is this: Florida is a great place to live and do business, and in exchange for a contribution to our economy, we’re going to give you a discount on your electric bill to help offset the costs of setting up shop here,” Olivera said.
According to most recent electric bill comparison data released by the Edison Electric Institute, a 500-kW FPL business customer using 180,000 kwh a month already saves more than $20,000 a year on electricity compared with the national average. FPL’s proposed economic development rates would potentially save a 500-kW FPL business customer an additional $13,000 to $16,000 in the first year.
FPL’s proposal, which is an expansion of a tiered discount that FPL has offered business customers since 1998, would not result in a rate increase for any customers.
In addition to the rate offerings, FPL plans to leverage its unique position to support environmentally responsible growth by creating and staffing an Office of Economic Development within the company to help attract new businesses to the state.
FPL’s new Economic Development team will work closely with the state and with local economic development organizations in the 35 counties the company serves. The team is charged with creating a suite of professional services to assist businesses with strategic planning, project coordination, site selection, rate options, sustainability and energy-efficiency services. As this project develops in the coming months, the team will make information available at a new website: www.PoweringFlorida.com.
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 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are 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.