Published on April 16th, 2017 | by Cynthia Shahan0
Gulf Power Settlement Preserves Solar Consumer Freedom in Florida
April 16th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan
The story of a solar push & pull in the Sunshine State goes on, this time with a good note: Floridians for Solar Choice writes that a Gulf Power settlement means customers will not have to face a huge fixed charge for having rooftop solar power.
A settlement filed in Tallahassee, Florida, on March 20, 2017, finds “Gulf Power has withdrawn their proposed fixed charge hike which would have cost consumers nearly $50 every month, regardless of how much power they used. The removal of this increase means that solar consumers will retain their ability to control their monthly power bills through measures such as energy efficiency and rooftop solar.”
Floridians for Solar Choice actively supported removal of the proposed fixed charge hike.
Part of the success might have been due to very active Gulf Power customers putting their voice in. “This settlement is a win for consumer freedom and shows the importance of consumers speaking up against monopoly power companies. Leading up to the settlement, Gulf Power heard from over 1,000 customers, both at public hearings held in Panama City and Pensacola, and via written comments filed with the Florida Public Service Commission. According to the group, their message was loud and clear — raising the fixed charge would have created an unfair burden to consumers already working hard to be thrifty with their energy use and would have especially hurt families on low and fixed incomes.”
“We are glad that the fixed charge increase has been removed from Gulf Power’s rate restructuring. This removal is a common sense decision, meaning customers will now retain their freedom to manage their own power use regardless of whether that means being smart with their electricity use every month or investing in rooftop solar,” said Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice and Florida Director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “Consumer choice is a staple of Florida’s economy, and this fixed charge hike would have been a step in the wrong direction.”
The news item from Floridians for Solar Choice comes after a busy year in Florida. Floridians successfully broke through the lies of misleading riddles on the ballot last fall. Thankfully, the immense amount of money spent on advertising to confuse consumers/voters did not pay off. It is unfortunate that money is spent to mislead consumers in the first place (there are so many better ways to spend money), but since it is, informed residents need to speak up and share correct information.