A Small Victory for Progress Energy Customers
To all our friends and constituents,
I want to thank the many thousands and thousands of you who have e- mailed, called and written my office and the Public Service Commission regarding your feelings about the approximately 25% increase in the utility bills that you have been receiving from Progress Energy.
This increase was caused by two separate reasons; the first being the increased cost of fuel and the second was the fact that Progress Energy was using a law passed in 2006 that allowed it to charge in advance for the construction of two new nuclear power plants that would not be producing electricity for about 10 years.
Not being a member of the Legislature when this law passed, I researched the issue and discovered that when it was voted upon, the cost estimate for building the new plants was about 1/3 of what it is today. Also no one knew that the economy of our State would be in such a poor condition as it currently exists and that fuel prices would rise as quickly as they did. No one expected the increase to be so high.
When I first learned that my constituents were going to receive a 25% increase in their electric bills, I decided to file legislation that would repeal the law or at least delay its implementation. I also called Senator Fasano, who is on the Energy Commission in the Senate and asked him to join me in this endeavor. As usual he did not hesitate and said he would file the companion bill in the Senate and use his seniority to help pass our bills and protect the constituents in our district and other citizens who were affected.
Together we wrote a joint letter to Progress Energy and asked them to voluntarily not put the increase into effect because our citizens and businesses would not be able to afford this high of an increase in such poor economic times. It took a lot of work and many staff hours but Progress Energy issued a press release that they were filing a proposal with the Public Service Commission to decrease their customer electric bills by $15.08 per month per 1000 kilowatt hours starting this April. If you use 2000 hours you would save $30.16 and so on) A copy of this press release is attached to this e-mail and gives the specific details.
Even though this was not everything that the Senator and I wanted, it is still a major victory for the consumers of Florida who have Progress Energy as their utility company. I want to thank Senator Fasano, staff and all the other Florida Legislators who helped on this good legislation to benefit their constituents. I also want to thank Mr. Lyash, the CEO of Progress Energy Florida for realizing that the increase was too much for our constituents to handle at this time.
But this issue is not yet over. Even though our constituents will get some immediate relief from their power bills, Progress Energy will go in front of the Public Service Commission again to allow rate increases in 2010. For those of you who want to keep rates down you can contact the PSC and let them know you do not support any increases to your bills. Go to their website at http://www.psc.state.fl.us/about/contact/form.aspx or you can call them at 800- 342-3552 and let them know how you feel.
Once again I would like to say that I am humbled to be your Representative and to fight for the issues that affect you in your daily lives.
Please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of any further assistance on this or any other issue.
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