• FPL will invest in making the system stronger, smarter, cleaner and even more efficient
• FPL has the lowest customer bills of all 54 utilities in Florida
• Customer bills will be going even lower next year
JUNO BEACH, Fla. — In its final brief to the state’s Public Service Commission, Florida Power & Light Company said today that if the company’s proposed base rate increase is approved, it will help support investments to keep customer bills low.
“Because of the investments we’ve made, our customers have the lowest bills in the state and reliability well above the national average. Those investments have helped produce massive fuel savings that will result in lower customer bills next year regardless of what happens with base rates. If our rate request is denied, we won’t be able make needed investments in the electrical system. If it is approved, customer bills will still be lower than they were in 2009, and we will be able to continue to invest in making the system stronger, smarter, cleaner and even more efficient so that bills will remain low in the future,” said Armando J. Olivera, FPL’s president and CEO.
FPL’s residential customer bills are the lowest of all 54 utilities in the state of Florida. A typical FPL customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours saves $25 a month compared to other Floridians, or $300 a year. FPL’s typical bill is also 10 percent below the national average.
In its brief filed with the PSC, FPL explains that customer bills are low largely due to the significant investments the company has made in building one of the most fuel-efficient generation fleets in the nation. FPL’s investments have saved customers nearly $3 billion in fuel costs compared with a 2002 baseline. Looking ahead, FPL estimates that these investments will save customers an additional $1 billion a year by 2014.
Future savings do not come at the expense of higher bills in the short term. FPL’s efficiency improvements and lower fuel prices will result in the fuel portion of the typical customer bill declining by roughly $14 next year.
“Operating a power plant is not that different from operating a car. The more you spend on keeping the car running at peak performance, the less you spend on fuel. Conversely, the less you spend on keeping the car running at peak performance, the more you spend on fuel. The investments we make in improved efficiency pay off in the form of lower fuel bills,” Olivera said.
In addition to efficiency, FPL has built a track record as a provider of reliable electrical service. On the basic measure of minutes without power, FPL’s reliability is 47 percent better than the national average. FPL says that although the 2009 storm season was mild by historical standards, the company wants to continue making the system stronger against severe weather, which the rate request will support.
FPL is also a clean-energy provider, with more than 70 percent of its power coming from low-carbon natural gas and emissions-free nuclear power. As a result, FPL’s carbon dioxide emissions rate is 40 percent better than the national average (roughly 800 pounds per megawatt hour compared to a national average of 1,350 pounds per megawatt hour) and among the very best in the country. To protect customers financially when a federal price on carbon dioxide is enacted, FPL says it is critical for the company to continue to invest in reducing the emissions rate of its generation fleet.
In order to carry out its plan to invest $16 billion in the state’s electrical infrastructure over the next five years, FPL must preserve its financial strength. If FPL’s credit quality is allowed to deteriorate, the company’s ability to borrow and invest will be severely constrained, putting at risk FPL’s ability to continue making its system stronger, smarter, cleaner and even more efficient.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are well below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and the No. 1 energy efficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
FPL Group and FPL: Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically express or involve discussion as to expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies and often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and similar terms. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts and involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties.
Although FPL Group, Inc. (FPL Group) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) believe that their expectations are reasonable, because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, the companies can give no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will prove to be correct. Important factors could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release. Factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group’s operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others:
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions. FPL 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 FPL.
• The operation and maintenance of power generation, transmission and distribution facilities involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
• The operation and maintenance of nuclear facilities involves inherent risks, including environmental, health, regulatory, terrorism and financial risks, that could result in fines or the closure of nuclear units owned by FPL or NextEra Energy Resources, and which may present potential exposures in excess of insurance coverage.
• The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation and transmission facilities involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful or delayed, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL could be adversely affected.
• The use of derivative contracts by FPL Group and FPL in the normal course of business could result in financial losses or the payment of margin cash collateral that adversely impact the results of operations or cash flows of FPL Group and FPL.
• FPL Group's competitive energy business is subject to risks, many of which are beyond the control of FPL Group, including, but not limited to, the efficient development and operation of generating assets, the successful and timely completion of project restructuring activities, the price and supply of fuel and equipment, transmission constraints, competition from other generators, including those using new sources of generation, excess generation capacity and demand for power, that may reduce the revenues and adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group.
• FPL Group's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including, but not limited to, the effect of increased competition for acquisitions resulting from the consolidation of the power industry.
• FPL Group and FPL participate in markets that are often subject to uncertain economic conditions, which makes it difficult to estimate growth, future income and expenditures.
• Customer growth and customer usage in FPL's service area affect FPL Group's and FPL's results of operations.
• Weather affects FPL Group's and FPL's results of operations, as can the impact of severe weather. Weather conditions directly influence the demand for electricity and natural gas, affect the price of energy commodities, and can affect the production of electricity at power generating facilities.
• Adverse capital and credit market conditions may adversely affect FPL Group's and FPL's ability to meet liquidity needs, access capital and operate and grow their businesses, and increase the cost of capital. Disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the financial markets can also adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL, as well as exert downward pressure on the market price of FPL Group's common stock.
• FPL Group’s, FPL Group Capital’s and FPL’s inability to maintain their current credit ratings may adversely affect FPL Group’s and FPL’s liquidity, limit the ability of FPL Group and FPL to grow their businesses, and would likely increase interest costs.
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to credit and performance risk from third parties under supply and service contracts.
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to costs and other potentially adverse effects of legal and regulatory proceedings, as well as regulatory compliance and changes in or additions to applicable tax laws, rates or policies, rates of inflation, accounting standards, securities laws, corporate governance requirements and labor and employment laws.
• 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 FPL's business may impact the operations of FPL Group and FPL in unpredictable ways.
• The ability of FPL Group and FPL to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be adversely affected by international, national, state or local events and company-specific events.
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to employee workforce factors that could adversely affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
These foregoing factors should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect FPL Group’s or FPL’s future results included in FPL Group’s and FPL’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be found at www.sec.gov or at www.FPLGroup.com.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and FPL undertake no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made, unless otherwise required by law. 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 facts, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.