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‘Now is not the time’ for an FPL rate increase, advocates say

'Now is not the time' for an FPL rate increase, advocates say
'Now is not the time' for an FPL rate increase, advocates say

MIAMI – Community advocates in Florida are asking the public to speak up against a proposed increase in the cost of electricity starting next year.

MacKenzie Marcelin is a community organizer in Miami-Dade County with Florida Rising, a political organization that focuses on marginalized communities.

Marcelin said he and other advocates want to prevent the Florida Power & Light company from convincing state regulators to support a phased-in four-year base rate increase.

“We just really want to say now is not the time,” Marcelin said, adding the coronavirus pandemic caused many households to fall behind on their bills. “We need to make sure community members are involved in this process.”

Volunteers with Catalyst Miami, a social services organization, are distributing flyers urging Miami residents to speak out against the rate increase during virtual public service commission hearings.

FPL, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, tracked the pandemic’s customer impact, provided payment arrangement options and claims the raise is needed to cover costs for trucks, wire and employee healthcare.

“Even with our proposed rate increase, FPL’s typical residential bill would remain well below the national average through 2025,” a spokesperson for FPL wrote in a statement.

The utility’s last base rate increase was determined through a settlement agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission in 2016.

FPL rate hike (Local 10 News)

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This is the Catalyst Miami flyer volunteers are distributing in some Miami neighborhoods. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."