Florida Power & Light customers will pay almost $2 lesson their monthly bills starting in January because of lower fuel costs.
Regulators approved the change Tuesday. FPL's projections for lower natural gas prices means its fuel fee for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours will be $4.53 less than previously thought. That offsets higher environmental and other costs and decreases monthly bills by $1.92 for that 1,000 kilowatt-hour customer.
The state Public Service Commission rejected a request to rethink eliminating a plan that would have given FPL customers with free, energy-efficient light bulbs and water heater blankets, and rebates for tune-ups and replacement of inefficient appliances.
Regulators voted unanimously to stick to their decision because the plan would have cost $1.44 to $1.85 more a month for customers who use 1,200 kilowatt-hours.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said the plan was intended to save energy and help utilities to avoid building new power plants, which also cost customers money.
The alliance said regulators violated state law because they were supposed to hold a hearing in July about rebates to meet beefed-up conservation goals set in 2009.
Instead, the alliance said the hearing became a "de-facto goal setting" session where regulators effectively repealed the energy-saving goals by approving a program that doesn't meet them.
FPL and a consumer group representing businesses said state law allows regulators to change energy conservation plans "any time it is in the public interest."
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