Commission opposed FPL increase

County Commission
Letter sent to Florida Public Service Commission

Historic City News has been provided a copy of the letter sent to the Florida Public Service Commission on behalf of St. Johns County objecting to the proposed 16% rate increase recently requested by Florida Power and Light.

Mr. Matthew M. Carter II,
Chairman
Florida Public Service Commission
Chairman Carter and Members of the Commission:

I am writing to you in my capacity as Chairman of the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners to outline this County’s serious objections to the proposed 16 percent rate increase by Florida Power and Light Inc. Our deep reservations stem almost entirely from the potentially disastrous economic consequences this action could have upon our most vulnerable residents and local businesses that are vital to the survival of our County.

First, we are concerned that during these challenging financial times a rapid and significant rate increase in the cost of energy for residential use, especially an increase as large as the proposed 16 percent or greater, could turn what is undeniably a bad economic situation into a ruinous financial disaster for many families and residents of this County.

With the cost of refined oil products (e.g. gasoline having increasing over 40 percent in the last twelve months), and with significant cost increases in the basic necessities such as food, combined with the decline in value of real estate assets throughout the state, individuals find themselves with significantly less disposable income.

Second, a loss of revenue (an inevitable result when individual disposable income is decreased) will have dire consequences for local commerce, mostly comprised of small family owned ventures with comparatively small margins to absorb increased overhead and operating expenses. A rapid and significant increase in such operating costs (e.g. the proposed 16 percent increase in the cost of commercial energy) will be in my opinion the tipping point of financial ruin for many of these locally owned businesses.

It is our sincere desire as the PSC continues to strive to provide the residents of Florida with safe and affordable energy, you will seriously consider not only the timing but also the disastrous impact this proposed action will have on our local economy.

I thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of this request. With every good wish for your continued success, I am

Respectfully,

Thomas G. Manuel, Chairman
St. Johns County Board of Commissioners

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