Florida Regulator Approves Utilities’ Energy Conservation Programs

The Florida Public Service Commission on July 7 approved demand side management plans filed by the state’s five investor-owned utilities, finding that the programs are the public interest. The agency decided that the new initiatives are projected to meet conservation targets and have no adverse cost impact to customers.

The commission rejected staff’s recommendation to continue existing program. The commissioners called for an update to the 40-year old practice of setting the goals in one proceeding and designing plans to achieve them in another needs to be updated. The agency said the staff will advance plans to “consolidate and streamline the rule before the next goals proceeding.”

Goals must be set least once every five years for each of the seven utilities under the 1980 Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. The measure lowers the need for new power generation and fossil fuel use by requiring utilities to devise cost-effective energy efficiency programs.