By Andrew McKay
At last night’s Townhall hosted by Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, longtime Gulf Power and now Florida Power & Light Senior Director of External Affairs Sandy Sims explained that the tiered rate structure new to our area is the same as that used by FPL across Florida for over 10 years. One of the key explanations of the two-rate system which charges 20% more for energy consumption during a billing cycle above 1000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) was that it serves to encourage conservation in line with the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) stated goal of reducing energy consumption. Sims said the 1000 kWh tier is structured as a “penalty” similar to a “sin tax” that discourages extra consumption, which was part of FPL’s business plan approved by the PSC for this acquisition of Gulf Power.
Side Note: I think some people might feel anger at Sandy Sims for these comments, but I personally appreciate her candor about what’s going on.