JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company today said its preliminary estimates for 2009 customer bills will require an increase in January of about 7 percent over the December 2008 bill.
The primary components of the adjustment include pass-through fuel costs, previously announced investments in nuclear power generation, and energy conservation costs. Bill estimates are subject to change based on fluctuation in fuel prices, the potential impact of hurricanes and other factors which cannot be anticipated. Any increases must be approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC).
For a typical 1,000 kilowatt hour customer bill, the January 2009 bill would be $8.29 more than the December 2008 bill. At $119.41, the 2009 bill would be among the lowest of all electric utilities in Florida.
“Floridians expect affordable, reliable, clean energy solutions. That’s why we’re investing in making our infrastructure cleaner, more fuel efficient and less reliant on any single source of fuel. As we do so, we’re very focused on operating efficiently and helping customers to save money,” FPL President Armando J. Olivera said.
Elements of the 2009 bill
Based on current projections for a 1,000 kilowatt hour bill, the pass-through fuel charge (on which FPL makes no profit of any kind) would increase in January 2009 by $3.92 over the December bill. This lower-than-expected increase includes the remaining under-recovered amount for 2008 and an increase for the projected cost of fuel in 2009.
The remaining increase would fund:
- A previously announced increase in the capacity of existing nuclear units at Turkey Point and St. Lucie by 400 megawatts, or the equivalent of a medium-sized power plant, helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- Initial steps toward the construction of two nuclear power units at Florida Power & Light Company’s Turkey Point generating complex in Miami-Dade County, also as previously announced.
- Funding for an increased level of conservation. FPL’s efficiency and conservation programs are No. 1 in the nation in terms of cumulative megawatts avoided, according to U.S. Department of Energy data, allowing the company to avoid building 12 medium-sized power plants.
- And, construction of three new solar power generation facilities capable of producing 110 megawatts of clean solar power with zero fuel costs and zero greenhouse gas emissions, as previously announced.
“While we can’t control what we have to pay for fuel, we have invested to make our current fossil fuel fleet the most fuel efficient among large-scale utilities nationwide, and our investments in nuclear and solar power and energy conservation will help further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels over the long term,” Olivera said.
Florida Power & Light Company is a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of over $15 billion and a growing presence in 27 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com.
Cautionary Statements And Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act), FPL Group and Florida Power & Light Company (Florida Power & Light) are hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Reform Act) made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in this press release, on their respective websites, in response to questions or otherwise. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as will likely result, are expected to, will continue, is anticipated, aim, believe, could, estimated, may, plan, potential, projection, target, outlook, predict, intend) are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors (in addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements) that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and Florida Power & Light undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
The following are some important factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions, including, but not limited to, initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the energy industry and environmental matters, including, but not limited to, matters related to the effects of climate change. Florida Power & Light holds franchise agreements with local municipalities and counties, and must renegotiate expiring agreements. These factors may have a negative impact on the business and results of operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The operation and maintenance of transmission, distribution and power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light could be adversely affected.
- Because FPL Group and Florida Power & Light rely on access to capital markets, the inability to maintain current credit ratings and to access capital markets on favorable terms may limit the ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to grow their businesses and would likely increase interest costs.
- Customer growth in Florida Power & Light’s service area affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- Weather affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to costs and other effects of legal proceedings as well as changes in or additions to applicable tax laws, rates or policies, rates of inflation, accounting standards, securities laws and corporate governance requirements.
- Threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks, or individuals and/or groups attempting to disrupt FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's business may impact the operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in unpredictable ways.
- The ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be affected by national, state or local events and company-specific events.
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to employee workforce factors that could affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
The risks described herein are not the only risks facing FPL Group and Florida Power & Light. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to FPL Group or Florida Power & Light, or that are currently deemed to be immaterial, also may materially adversely affect FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's business, financial condition and/or future operating results.