JUNO BEACH, Florida, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to reduce customer rates beginning April 1, 2016, in tandem with the commissioning of the new FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, thanks to anticipated savings from increased fuel-efficiency and lower projected natural gas prices.
The fourth rate decrease in 16 months, the April reduction will trim $1.65 off a typical 1,000-kWh residential customer’s monthly bill – for a total reduction since 2014 of nearly $10. Importantly, FPL’s typical bill in April 2016 will be more than $16 lower than it was 10 years ago.
“Our long-term strategy of investing in fuel-efficient modernizations, including phasing out old, oil-fired power plants and replacing them with advanced clean energy centers that run on clean, low-cost, U.S.-produced natural gas, continues to pay off meaningfully for our customers,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Today, our typical customer bills are more than 15 percent lower than they were a decade ago, and our continued investments in fuel efficiency will help keep fuel costs low over the long-term.”
The company confirmed today that the FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is expected to enter service on April 1, bringing the benefits of high-efficiency natural gas generation to customers approximately two months ahead of schedule and on budget.
When the plant enters service, a generation base rate adjustment will take effect at the same time the plant’s fuel-efficiency improvement reduces the fuel rate, as prescribed by the company’s 2012 rate settlement agreement. In addition, FPL is also requesting PSC approval to reduce the fuel rate further to reflect lower fuel cost projections for 2016, primarily due to lower projected natural gas prices. The net result of the April adjustments is a savings of $1.65 a month on a 1,000-kWh residential customer’s bill compared with current rates. FPL business customers are also expected to see a rate reduction – with typical business customer bills decreasing in the range of approximately 2 to 7 percent compared with current rates, depending on rate class and type of service.
Even before the latest rate reduction, FPL’s typical residential bill is already about 30 percent lower than the national average and the lowest among reporting Florida utilities.
FPL’s Typical 1,000 kWh Residential Customer Monthly Bill
April 1, 2016
Additional savings of $1.65/month vs. today
and total decrease of more than 15% vs. 2006
Notes: Above figures reflect actual rates for 2006 and February 2016 and projected rates for April 2016. All rates are subject to change and must be approved by the PSC before implementation. Bill totals include the state’s standard gross receipts tax but do not include any local taxes or fees that vary by municipality.
The FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is designed to generate enough electricity to power about 260,000 homes and businesses using 35 percent less fuel than the original oil-fired plant that it is replacing. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the new energy center will also cut the carbon emissions rate in half and reduce overall air emissions by more than 90 percent.
Investments in high-efficiency natural gas generation have enabled FPL to reduce its use of foreign oil by more than 99 percent – from more than 41 million barrels of oil in 2001 to less than 1 million barrels annually today. The company has been strategically phasing out older, less-efficient fossil fuel plants and replacing them with new, high-efficiency natural gas energy centers – like the FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center. Since 2001, the effectiveness of these investments since 2001 has saved our customers more than $8 billion on fuel and prevented more than 95 million tons of carbon emissions.
FPL is the cleanest electric utility in Florida and among the cleanest in the nation. The company’s carbon emission rate is already cleaner today than the target rate that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently set for Florida to meet by 2030.
“As many utilities across the country look at significant costs to comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, our history of smart, long-term investments in clean, fuel-efficient technology have positioned us well, mitigating the need for our customers to pay more for compliance,” noted Silagy. “By investing strategically over many years in clean, U.S.-produced natural gas, zero-emissions nuclear and solar energy, FPL has proven that it is possible for an electric utility to deliver service that is clean, reliable and low-cost.”
Last month, FPL initiated the process of setting new base rates to take effect when the current base rate settlement agreement expires at the end of 2016. In March, FPL plans to formally file a four-year rate plan proposal to include three base rate adjustments during the period 2017 through 2020 to support continued investments in advanced infrastructure and clean generation, including the FPL Okeechobee Clean Energy Center, which is scheduled to begin serving customers in 2019. Based on current cost projections, FPL projects that its typical bill through the year 2020 will remain lower than what customers paid in 2006, even with the full proposed base rate increase. More information can be found at www.FPL.com/answers.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2015 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being ranked in the top 10 worldwide for innovativeness and community responsibility as part of Fortune’s 2015 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This news 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 new release include, among others, statements concerning FPL’s plans for requesting new base rates. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “will,” “may 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 and their business and financial condition 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, or may require them to limit or eliminate certain operations. 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 a reasonable return on invested 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; disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support utility scale renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources) or the imposition of additional taxes or assessments on renewable energy; 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 over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards 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; 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; inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses and risk that insurance coverage does not provide protection against all significant losses; a prolonged period of low gas and oil prices could impact NextEra Energy Resources’ gas infrastructure business and cause NextEra Energy Resources to delay or cancel certain gas infrastructure projects and for certain existing projects to be impaired; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources’ full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to manage properly or hedge effectively the commodity risk within its portfolio; 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 risk management tools associated with their hedging and trading procedures to protect against significant losses, including the effect of unforeseen price variances from historical behavior; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NextEra Energy Resources; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; failure of NextEra Energy or FPL counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy or FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy’s or FPL’s information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL’s retail businesses from compromise of sensitive customer data; losses from 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, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions; NextEra Energy Partners, LP’s (NEP’s) acquisitions may not be completed and, even if completed, NextEra Energy may not realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s ownership and operation of 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 NextEra Energy Resources’ or FPL’s owned 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, and increased public attention to hazards, posed to their owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s owned 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; 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 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 pay 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, 2014 and other SEC filings, and this news release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this news release. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.