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Home Page > About the Florida Public Service Commission > Commissioners > Commissioner Brisé Newsletter Archives > December 2012 Chairman's Newsletter

Chairman Brise
Commission Update

December 2012

Ronald A. Brisé
Reviewing a Year of Achievements;
Looking Forward to Next Year’s Challenges

Happy holidays!
This time of year brings great joy shared with family and friends, and it also brings reflection on the year ending and anticipation of the quickly approaching new year. In a few days, it will be 2013.
Are you ready for the challenges the New Year will bring?

As I begin my second year as Chairman of Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC), I’m looking forward to the new year, working with my fellow Commissioners, and I’m proud of our accomplishments this year. Following are some PSC highlights for 2012.

Throughout the year, we helped consumers cope with tight budgets, using strategies to keep utility rates down and to reach out to consumers. We approved a settlement agreement for Progress Energy Florida (PEF) that provides continuous, reliable service and rate continuity and includes tactics to keep its nuclear project rates down. A provision in the PEF settlement triggers a $129 million refund that will benefit ratepayers in 2013. We also reduced Gulf Power Company’s revenue request by more than $35 million, mitigating customer impact. We approved a settlement agreement for Florida Power & Light Company that is $166 million lower than its original annual rate request and will help create jobs and grow Florida's economy.

In January, Florida was one of two states personally commended by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski for efforts to identify and eliminate fraud in the Lifeline Assistance telephone discount program benefitting low-income consumers.

In February, we held rates down for customers of Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc. (AUF), decreasing the company’s original revenue request by $1.3 million. AUF serves 17,154 water and 6,595 wastewater customers through 58 water and 27 wastewater systems in 17 Florida counties.

In March, we approved the long-term energy emergency plans for the 15 Florida utilities that own or control electric generation facilities. Every three years, the utilities are required to file emergency plans establishing their systematic and effective means to anticipate, access, and respond to a long-term fuel shortage emergency. During 2012 National Consumer Protection Week in March, we shared helpful consumer information available from the PSC and other state agencies with consumer group leaders from across the state. We also shared best practices to achieve more effective outreach, so consumers can get help with their utility bills and obtain Lifeline telephone assistance, if they qualify.

We helped students learn that energy and water conservation makes sense on Earth Day and every day. Participating in April’s Earth Day celebration, the PSC joined the Department of Environmental Protection, other state agencies, and local organizations and businesses to raise resource conservation awareness.

In May, we reviewed storm preparedness plans for the state’s electric utilities before Hurricane Season. By annually reviewing utilities’ adherence to PSC preparedness rules, we are assured of reduced storm-related outages and quicker recovery times for families and essential services.

Consumer confidence in generating and using renewables increases each year, according to electric utility reports reviewed by the PSC in June. Customer-owned renewable energy grew 40 percent last year with 3,994 systems, up from 2,833 in 2010. Statewide, electric generation capacity from renewable systems reached approximately 29,259 kilowatts (kW), up from 20,403 kW in 2010.

Acknowledging increased concern about pipeline safety due to aging infrastructure susceptible to corrosion, in July we approved two petitions allowing three Florida natural gas companies to recover their costs for hastening pipeline replacement within 10 years.

In August we learned that Florida consumers have a broad range of communications choices, according to the PSC’s annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry. Duke Energy Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers also appeared before us to share how the July 3 merger of Duke Energy (Duke) and PEF would affect Florida consumers. After the meeting, Commissioner Eduardo E. Balbis, as Prehearing Officer, reviewed the status of Crystal River Nuclear Unit 3 (CR3), now managed by Duke since its merger with PEF.

Established by the 2012 Florida Legislature, the “Study Committee on Investor-Owned Water & Wastewater Utility Systems” (Committee) held its first meeting in September. Chaired by PSC Commissioner Julie Brown, the Committee includes 17 representatives from the Florida Legislature, state agencies, state and local governments, and investor-owned water utilities and their customers. A report on the Committee’s findings will be submitted to the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House by February 15, 2013.

Highlighting October’s national Energy Action Month, PSC senior managers and I participated in a locally-sponsored Big Bend Habitat for Humanity build. I also joined the City of Tallahassee’s Mayor to help weatherize a local utility customer’s home.

In November, Commissioner Lisa Polak Edgar was elected Second Vice President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) representing state utility regulators across the country; she is the first Florida Commissioner to be a NARUC officer.

While December is a busy month for everyone, it seemed particularly busy for us. Concluding FPL’s rate case petition, the PSC approved a stipulation and settlement agreement that is in the public interest. As FPL moves forward with construction of three new power plants, our decision provides rate certainty through 2016 for the customers and the utility and provides opportunities for job and economic growth in Florida.

We accomplished much in 2012, and there’s always more to do! Next year, as we did this year, we will continue to met our statutory responsibility every work day. So, now it’s time to remove the old calendar, hang the new one, and meet the challenges 2013 will bring. Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

There are five ways to contact us:

Complete an online complaint form at
Call our toll-free number, 800-342-3552
Fax information to us toll-free, 800-511-0809

Send a letter to: The Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850

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In January, a regular Commission Conference will be held on January 8 ♦ Commissioner Julie Brown will chair meetings of the Study Committee on Investor-Owned Water & Wastewater Utilities in Tallahassee on January 8 and January 25 ♦ PSC staff will hold a customer meeting in Tavares for TPL Water, Inc. on January 9 ♦ Commissioners Lisa Edgar, Eduardo Balbis, and Julie Brown will hold a customer service hearing for Water Management Services at St. George Island on January 16 and 17 ♦ A regular Commission Conference will be held on January 24.

December Press Releases

Customer Meeting Set for Pluris Wedgefield, Inc. 12/3/2012

PSC Approves Residential Wastewater-Only Rate for Aqua Utilities Florida 12/10/2012

PSC Revises Pay Telephone Rules 12/10/2012

Customer Meeting Set for TKCB 12/11/2012

PSC Approves Need Determination for TECO Plant Conversion 12/12/2012

PSC Votes on FPL Rate Request 12/13/2012

Study Committee on Water & Wastewater Utilities to Hold Conference Call on Wednesday 12/17/2012

PSC Releases 2012 Lifeline Assistance Program Report 12/19/2012

Florida Electric Utilities’ Ten-Year Site Plans Prepare for Future Growth 12/19/2012

PSC Issues Report on Electric Vehicle Charging 12/20/2012

Notable FPSC Orders
Filed From December 1 - 31, 2012

Pay Telephone Service Providers
Docket No. 120262
Order No. PSC-12-0656-NOR-TC
Notice of rulemaking to amend Rules 25-24.510 through 25-24.512, 25-24.514, and 25-24.515, Florida Administrative Code, relating to pay telephone service providers; if timely requested, a hearing will be held at a time and place to be announced in a future notice; written requests for hearing and written comments on the rules must be received by the Office of Commission Clerk no later than 1/3/13.
♦   ♦   ♦

Florida Power & Light Company
Progress Energy Florida

Docket No. 120009
Order No. PSC-12-0650-FOF-EI
Final Order approving nuclear cost recovery amounts for FPL and PEF.
♦   ♦   ♦

Florida Power & Light Company
Docket No. 120244
Order No. PSC-12-0647-PAA-EI
Proposed Agency Action Order approving base rate increase for extended power uprate systems; FPL to file revised tariff sheets for administrative approval by staff; if no protests, order to become final and effective on issuance of a Consummating Order; protest due 1/1/13.
♦   ♦   ♦

Tampa Electric Company
Docket No. 120234
Order No. PSC-12-0642-PHO-EI
Prehearing Order for petition to determine need for Polk 2-5 combined cycle conversion, by Tampa Electric Company.

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Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850