MIAMI – Community advocates in Florida are calling on the public to speak out 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 wanted to stop the Florida Power & Light Company from convincing state regulators to support a gradual increase in the base rate over four years.
“We just really want to say now is not the time,” Marcelin said, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has caused many households to fall behind on their bills. “We have to make sure that community members are involved in this process. “
Volunteers from Catalyst Miami, a social services organization, are handing out flyers urging Miami residents to speak out against rate hikes at virtual public service commission hearings.
FPL, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, has tracked the impact of the pandemic on customers, provided payment arrangement options, and claims the increase is needed to cover the costs of trucks, cables and healthcare employees.
“Even with our rate increase proposal, the typical FPL residential bill would remain well below the national average until 2025,” a spokesperson for FPL wrote in a statement.
The latest increase in the utility’s base rate was determined as part of a settlement agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission in 2016.
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