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Florida Public Service Commission holds rule development workshop on conservation and speakers urged major changes

Cindy Miller's picture
Consultant Cindy Miller LLC

Cindy Miller served for 30 years in a range of positions at the Florida Public Service Commission.  These included Associate General Counsel and head of the Commission's External Affairs...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Jan 18, 2021
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Yesterday, the Florida Public Service Commission held a rule development workshop on conservation.  It was three hours and many people commented (the utilities, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Environmental Confederation of SW Florida, the Conservation Voters, Earth Steps, Vote Solar, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Office of Public Counsel and more).  The Commission staff offered a draft proposal to make some administrative efficiency changes.  The proposal would require utilities to include proposed programs and plans along with their goals.  They said this is the main difference with the existing rule.  Staff welcomed comments.

Basically, the utilities supported staff's intent for a more efficient process.  However, the other commenters questioned the changes.  The ratepayer impact measure (RIM) test has been a roadblock to many programs.  Presenters stated that Florida is one of the worst states on conservation.  Vote Solar suggested that programs should only be disqualified if they fail more than one test or screen.  Also, presenters urged that there needs to be a longer payback.  Also, some cities presented information on how they are constrained from offering more conservation and urged that the rule be changed.  Some suggested that staff should start over.  The rule that adopted the RIM and other tests is an entirely different rule and they urged it should be included in the scope of the rulemaking.  Those tests were adopted 30 years ago. 

Speakers also urged a second workshop.  Written comments are due February 15.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 18, 2021

Presenters stated that Florida is one of the worst states on conservation. 

Is there a historical reason for this failing? 

Cindy Miller's picture
Cindy Miller on Jan 18, 2021

Matt, thanks for asking.  My understanding is that one reason is the Commissioners may feel constrained by the underlying statute.  In addition, I think the utilities are not broadly in favor of more conservation.

 

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