Governor Decides to Replace Two Members of the PSC
Consumer advocacy groups are celebrating the governor’s decision to replace two members of the Public Service Commission, saying the changes will level the playing field between consumers and utilities. But the new commissioners won’t take office until January and two major rate increases have to be voted on by the end of the year. The governor is asking the current commission to postpone its rulings.
As of right now the Progress Energy rate hike ruling is scheduled for November. The Florida Power and Light revenue increase decision is due in December, with details about how the rate will be divided among customers coming on Jan. 11.
Governor Charlie Crist is casting out two Public Service Commissioners and sending a message to utility executives. Consumer advocates say the changes will favor customers.
“The governor sent a clear message that he’s looking out for consumers,” said Brad Ashwell of Florida PIRG. “He really wants to make sure the people sitting on the PSC are consumer advocates.”
However, there are still two billion dollars in rate increases pending. Those decisions are scheduled to be made before the two commissioners are replaced.
Now the governor is asking that the decision be delayed. Florida PIRG is backing the governor. The Florida Retail Federation says any decision the current commission makes could be reversed.
While so much remains unresolved, customers remain hopeful the changes won’t leave them paying more.
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