Rate freeze pleases both sides in Florida

By John O'Brien | May 11, 2010


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Progress Energy Florida has reached what it calls "a fair agreement" with state Attorney General Bill McCollum that freezes base rates through 2012.

The agreement, also joined by Public Counsel J.R. Kelly, was announced Monday and also caps repair costs that customers would have to pay in the event of any catastrophic storms. Progress can petition for interim rate relief if its profitability begins to falter a certain amount.

"Progress Energy Florida is pleased to have reached a fair agreement that will benefit our customers by keeping base rates stable during this challenging economic environment," said Vincent M. Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida.

The agreement must be approved by the state's Public Service Commission. Also party to the settlement were the Florida Retail Federation, Florida Industrial Power Users Group, White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, Inc., and the Department of the Navy on behalf of the Federal Executive Agencies.

Progress Energy had sought a $500 million rate hike in January but it was rejected. The settling parties are asking the PSC to take up the agreement at a June 1 meeting.

The company can ask for an interim rate hike if its return on equity falls below 9.5 percent before 2013.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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