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.
County Commission Chambers
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
South Regional/Broward College Library
7300 Pines Boulevard
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
Florida Memorial University
Lou Rawls Auditorium
15800 N. W. 42nd Avenue
Miami Gardens, FL 33054