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Residents, business owners tell FPL they can't afford proposed price hike

Some residents say they can't afford increase

MIAMI – A public meeting was held Monday night by the Public Service Commission at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium to address their concerns about a proposed rate hike for Florida Power & Light customers.

Some said they would not be able to afford the monthly increase.

"I am retired. I live on a fixed income," one Miami resident said. "This 23 percent rate increase is going to hurt."

From 2017 to 2020, FPL is proposing three base-rate adjustments that would total about $13 dollars extra on an average household's monthly bill.

Local politicians, like South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, spoke out against the proposed hike before the meeting.

"FPL has more pass-throughs to the customers than any utility in the United States," he said.

Jaime Torrens, the chief facilities officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, told Local 10 News consumer advocate Christina Vazquez that a hike could cost the district $37 million over the next four years, tapping into the same budget used to pay teachers.

FPL, however, said the base-rate increase is necessary in order for its infrastructure to be upgraded, and for service to be reliable.

"Our bills are $40 lower than the average in the nation," said FPL spokesperson Sarah Gatewood.

Others at Monday's meeting said they supported a rate increase as long as it is fair.

"I have received excellent service in the time that I've been a customer," one Miami resident said.

The PSC is scheduled to file a recommendation with the Commission on Nov. 17. Commissioners are expected to vote on this matter at the Nov. 29 Commission Conference.

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June 28

9:30 a.m.

County Commission Chambers

Broward County Governmental Center

115 S. Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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June 28

5 p.m.

South Regional/Broward College Library

7300 Pines Boulevard

Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

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June 29

9:30 a.m.

Florida Memorial University

Lou Rawls Auditorium

15800 N. W. 42nd Avenue

Miami Gardens, FL 33054