Letter: Why penalize FPL customers?


Letter: Why penalize FPL customers?

James S. Arpaia
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor:

I recently wrote to all members of the Florida Public Service Commission to complain about a penalty I now face unless I agree to change to a so called “Smart Meter” from Florida Power and Light Company.

I am a homeowner of St. Augustine in St. Johns County. About two years ago, when information was being circulated about the negative use and effects of Government Provided Smart Meters, I notified FPL by registered letter that I did not want one installed on my home.

Although the Federal Government and the local utilities have tried to claim there are no ill effects or consequences to having a Smart Meter, several entities have disputed their use. I continue to remain convinced of my concerns.

I was not made award of the FPSC hearing that was held on 9/20/12 or I would have attended.

I have now been informed by FPL that I must choose to have a Smart Meter installed or pay a $95.00 enrollment fee and a $13.00 monthly fee just to keep my existing meter. I am outraged that the FPSC has allowed FPL to charge me a “penalty” to keep my meter. My current electric rate includes the cost of my existing meter and the cost to read it.

If the Smart Meter constitutes a savings for FPL, then the opposite should be true. I should receive a $95.00 credit and my bill should be reduced by $13.00 per month…not the other way around.

If the FPSC were truly interested in protecting the consumer from “non-competitive” Pubic Utilities, they would not allow any additional fees until all testing and verification conducted by “Independent” testing facilities was accomplished.

My main point is that the Smart Meter will absolutely do nothing to improve the use and delivery of power. It is only the first step in “Controlling” the use of energy by the Government as forecasted by Agenda 21.

If the power companies were truly interested in saving costs, they would immediately start a plan to put ALL power lines underground. However public utilities operate on a form of “Cost – Plus” basis. So the more they spend to maintain severely outmoded power lines strung from poles, the more their investors make. FPL’s petition for a $516.5 million increase, with an 11.5% ROE (Return on Equity), plus a .25% “Performance adder” is the proof.

The justification for putting power lines underground is indisputable. The simple elimination of all the “bucket trucks”, linesmen, telephone poles, tree-trimming crews, etc. would more than pay for the systematic job of putting all overhead lines underground.

Why the FPSC is not asking for public comments on both issues and listening to the “real” number of customers who would have objected to the use of “Smart Meters” had they not been penalized by unjustified fees for the privilege of keeping their existing meters. This is the Big Question.