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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fasano plans public hearings on Progress Energy rate hike

UPDATE: Progress Energy officials went sort of nuclear over Fasano's announcement. A spokeswoman noted Friday that the hearings are under the Public Service Commission and more importantly to them, set up to discuss the utility's base rate increase -- not nuclear costs. To which Fasano aide Greg Giordano said: That's their opinion.

Fasano wants residents to speak up about the nuclear-related rate increase, and customers should be free speak their mind at hearings, said Giordano, who nonetheless sent out an "updated" news release making the distinctions. He acknowledged getting  complaints  a complaint from the PSC over the wording of the release, which Fasano intends to reissue repeatedly to draw attention to the public hearings.

State Sen. Mike Fasano, no fan of Progress Energy's rate hike for its proposed nuclear plant, has announced public hearings to debate the utility company's plan. The New Port Richey Republican did vote for the 2006 law allowing the company to charge customers for the project years before it cranks up. He now regrets it.

“I encourage everyone who is a customer of Progress Energy to come out express their concern with what could be a system wide rate increase of nearly half a billion dollars,” Fasano said in a news release today.  “The impact on each customer is estimated to be in the range of $25 to $30 per month.  These are not dollars that can saved by reducing energy consumption, these are dollars that will be added to each monthly bill as a flat charge.”

Giordano called Friday afternoon to clarify Fasano's statement, saying the $25 to $30 refers to the base rate increase and the nuclear project.

The state's Public Service Commission will have a full rate hearing in September on Progress Energy's request.

July 8

2 to 5:00 p.m.
Spartan Manor
6121 Massachusetts Avenue
New Port Richey, FL 34653

July 16
9 a.m. to noon
City Council Chambers
City Hall
175 5th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

July 16
6 to 9 p.m.
Commissioners Assembly Room
Pinellas County Board of Commissioners
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 34616

July 17
9 a.m. to noon
Citrus County Auditorium
3610 S. Florida Ave.
Inverness, Fl. 34450

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:52am]

    

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