FPL to begin offering discounted electric service for new, expanding businesses

Juno Beach, Fla., July 26, 2011 The state's Public Service Commission approved modifications to Florida Power & Light Co.'s electric service rate options, enabling the utility to provide an incentive for businesses to start up, expand or relocate here.

The new economic development rates offer discounted electric service for new or expanding businesses that add a minimum level of new electric load and new jobs, with a higher incentive for businesses that locate in commercial or industrial space that has been vacant for more than six months.

New or expanding businesses that add a minimum of 350 kW of new electric load and create at least 10 new jobs per 350 kW of added load by June 1, 2013, can apply for the new economic development rates. After June 1, 2013, businesses wishing to take advantage of the rates will be required to add 25 new jobs per 350 kW of new electric load.

Eligible business customers receive declining discounts on their standard base energy and demand charges over four years: 20 percent in the first year, 15 percent in the second, 10 percent in the third and 5 percent in the fourth.

As an additional incentive to target the re-use of existing vacant property — where the associated electrical equipment is already in place — eligible business customers adding the requisite new load and new jobs in commercial or industrial space that has been vacant for more than six months receive an enhanced level of declining discounts over five rather than four years: 25 percent in the first year, 20 percent in the second, 15 percent in the third, 10 percent in the fourth and 5 percent in the fifth.

The PSC's approval today makes the new rates effective immediately.

Typically, the 350 kW level of load includes business customers such as supermarkets, department stores, manufacturing facilities, hospitals and hotels.

For example, according to the most recent electric bill comparison data released by the Edison Electric Institute, a 500-kW FPL business customer using 180,000 kWh a month already saves more than $20,000 a year on electricity compared with the national average. FPL's new economic development rates can potentially save a 350-kW business customer an additional $9,500 to $12,000 in the first year which helps offset the costs of starting up, expanding or moving their operations to Florida.

In addition to the new rate offerings, FPL has launched an Office of Economic Development within the company to help attract new businesses to the state. The office will work closely with the state and with local economic development organizations in the 35 counties the company serves.

FPL's new Office of Economic Development is also creating a suite of professional services intended to assist businesses with strategic planning, project coordination, site selection, rate options, sustainability and energy efficiency.

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