Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) said on March 31 that meeting state-mandated energy conservation goals could cost the typical 1,000-kilowatt-hour customer an additional $2 to $3 a month.

The money would pay for the rebates [http://www.fpl.com/business/savings/rebates_and_incentives.shtml] that customers could receive for everything from installing a solar water heater to having air-conditioning systems tuned up. The cost of the energy conservation programs is billed as one of the company’s "cost recovery clauses" and is not part of the company’s base rate, FPL spokesman Mayco Villafana told the The Palm Beach Post.

The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) is requiring the utility to save a total of 1,498 MW in reduced energy demand over the next 10 years. In addition, the commission’s order requires expenditures for solar pilot programs of up to $15.5 million annually.

Florida utilities with sales of 2,000 GWh or more are subject to the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (FEECA), according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. This act requires each utility to implement cost-effective energy efficiency programs [http://www.aceee.org/energy/state/florida/fl_utility.htm] and to conduct energy audits. The FPSC reviews and approves utilities’ energy efficiency plans. Since 1980, when FEECA was approved, utility programs have deferred the need for eleven 500-MW power plants. According to the Energy Information Administration, Florida utilities spent $92.6 million on energy efficiency in 2007, saving 348,208 MWh.

"The PSC-mandated goals will have an impact on customer bills. If programs that we are proposing to meet the PSC’s mandate are approved, typical FPL residential customers will see an increase in their electric bill of $2 to $3 per month to cover the cost. The exact amount varies throughout the 2010–2019 time period but based on our proposed plan, the increase should not exceed $3 over the current typical bill," Villafana said.

Sources: FPL, The Palm Beach Post, FPSC, America Council for Energy Efficient Economy, EIA