Sunday, November 16, 2014

Elections have consequences … by gimleteye

For years, we have joked that something in Florida's drinking water accounts for election results in the Sunshine State. Here, the state legislature is holding the conservative line on denying climate science ("I'm not a scientist", Gov. Rick Scott). Meanwhile, the Sunshine State lags in the nation and is being pushed even further behind on deploying solar power at the consumer level.

PSC staff backs utilities' proposal to gut energy-efficiency goals
Ivan PennIvan Penn, Times Staff Writer

State Public Service Commission staffers largely backed proposals by Florida's utilities to gut their energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent in recommendations released Thursday, a moved that angered environmentalists.

In a more-than-100-page filing, the commission's staff members presented their analysis of the hotly debated utility proposals, which also include elimination of rebates for installation of rooftop solar.

The state's utilities — including Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light — argued during hearings this summer that energy-efficiency programs have become too costly to continue. The utilities said it's cheaper for them now to produce a kilowatt of electricity than to save it.

In their recommendations Thursday, commission staff members agreed. The "utilities correctly calculated the costs and benefits to the customers participating in the energy savings and demand reduction measures," the staff wrote.

In addition, the staff said the solar rebate programs should be allowed to expire in December 2015 because they "represent a large subsidy from the general body of ratepayers to a very small segment of each utility's customers."

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy disagreed, saying rooftop solar would prove its value over building more power plants that increase all ratepayers' costs.

As for energy efficiency, the Southern Alliance and other environmental groups said the utilities simply calculated high costs to kill the programs.

"The utilities cost estimates across all … tests are unnecessarily high relative to peer utilities in other states," the Southern Alliance was quoted as saying in the staff report.

Susan Glickman of the Southern Alliance said it is widely expected that the five-member commission will rubber-stamp the staff's recommendations when they vote Nov. 25.

Glickman noted that the commission recently approved Duke building a 1,640-megawatt natural gas plant as the utility proposes to gut its conservation goals. FPL is also constructing a new natural gas facility.

"People should be up in arms," Glickman said, "that we're ending energy-efficiency programs while we're approving new power plants."

Contact Ivan Penn at or (727) 892-2332. Follow @Consumers_Edge.

PSC staff backs utilities' proposal to gut energy-efficiency goals 11/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2014 6:38pm]


Anonymous said...

Let's get real. Scott has heavy direct financial investments in a natural gas company with a pipeline to northern FL.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see when all that easy gas production slows down, combined with explosive reliance on said gas for power production. FPL relies on about 80% on gas today.

The bottom line is that solar can not be stored efficiently for night time consumption. That's why the power company's refuse to invest in a dual production system.
Remember, the base load has to be guaranteed whether rain or sleet or "nukeler winter".

The question of going solar has already been solved in self contained new California community's. It's been proven way back during the Enron scandalous power shut downs. It's easily doable in new developments, bypassing big power completely.

That's why the big boys don't want to get a popular foot hold in solar. It could prove to become popular, imagine that! And people would get a real time accounting of what it takes to live energy gusling live styles.