SAN FRANCISCO — A Florida regulator on Monday became the first from the Sunshine State to serve as head of the 125-year-old National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, a nonprofit organization that includes more than 200 officials from throughout the United States and its territories.
The NARUC elected Lisa Edgar, the longest-serving member of the Florida Public Service Commission, for the one-year post during its annual meeting here. The president of NARUC runs its meetings, which provide education about utility issues, and represents the regulators in major presentations such as testimony before Congress....
While Florida utilities continue to argue that solar panels on rooftops and over parking don't make economic sense, the business and government communities seem to think otherwise.
The latest: Lockheed Martin plans to build a large-scale solar system at its Pinellas County facility, joining Great Bay Beer Distributors, Tampa International Airport, C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and James A. Haley VA Medical Center....
State Public Service Commission staffers largely backed proposals by Florida's utilities to gut their energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent in recommendations released Thursday, a moved that angered environmentalists.
In a more-than-100-page filing, the commission's staff members presented their analysis of the hotly debated utility proposals, which also include elimination of rebates for installation of rooftop solar....
GULFPORT — Ralph Bassett's electric bill typically runs about $120 a month, every month, winter and summer.
Bassett runs his two-story, 1920s wood-frame home as a model of efficiency: LED lightbulbs, dimmer switches, a tankless water heater, a clothesline for drying most of the wash.
So when Bassett's bill spiked in July to $256, he called Duke Energy Florida and got what he thought were unsatisfactory replies....
After several years working together, Fox 13 anchor Mark Wilson will take over for his father, evening news anchor John Wilson, when he retires Nov. 26.
"Over the years, I've seen how Dad put his family and community first over himself, passing up several opportunities over the years to leave and go elsewhere," Mark Wilson said. "I grew up with an appreciation for the community."
The announcement came Wednesday evening just hours after John Wilson and retiring News Channel 8 anchor Gayle Sierens were honored at a gathering of more than 150 local media celebrities, politicians and community leaders....
ST. PETERSBURG — With both real and toy pitchforks, a crowd of about 150 vented their frustration with Duke Energy Florida on Wednesday in a park just yards from the utility's downtown headquarters.
The "Pitchfork Protest" in Williams Park drew one of the largest gatherings to date against Duke for failed nuclear ambitions that are costing its customers billions of dollars; lack of support for rooftop solar power; billing mishaps; and overcharges of churches and small businesses....
Concerned about security at a "Pitchfork Protest" planned for Wednesday outside Duke Energy Florida headquarters, the utility and the event's organizers have hired off-duty police officers to oversee safety.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a Tennessee-based nonprofit environmental organization, hopes to bring hundreds to protest Duke's treatment of its customers in recent years.
Protesters plan to wield pitchforks and torches like it's 1785....
NEW PORT RICHEY — More than 100 Duke Energy Florida customers turned out to a town hall meeting Thursday, asking how to best challenge the utility that changed billing cycles and charged them for a nuclear plant that never came.
Focus on the Legislature, said two former state senators.
"Shame on all of you if you don't, between now and the next legislative session, if you don't make an appointment to go see your legislator," said former state Sen. Mike Fasano, now the Pasco County tax collector....
State regulators approved requests by Tampa Electric to lower its residential customers' rates by an average of $1.14 to $108.47 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours beginning Jan. 1.
Commercial and industrial customers' rates will drop by 1.7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, under the proposals approved by the Public Service Commission.
Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, sought a decrease in its rates as a result of lower fuel and other electricity production costs....
Still hoping for a refund from Duke Energy Florida for the $3.45 its customers pay each month for a nuclear plant the utility decided not to build?
Don't expect Duke to fork over the money.
But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is offering at least 500 Duke customers what the utility has not: Show your electric bill at a scheduled "pitchfork" protest at noon Oct. 29 outside the power company's St. Petersburg headquarters and get $3.45 or a free box lunch....
Tampa-based TECO Energy announced an agreement Monday to sell its coal subsidiary in a $170 million deal that is expected to close by the end of the year.
TECO, the parent company of Tampa Electric, said Cambrian Coal Corp. agreed to purchase the coal operation, which includes coal production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Cambrian is part of the Booth Energy Group, a company that produces coal using the underground and surface mining methods in the central Appalachia coal fields of Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia....
First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks wasn't saving as much as it could.
This wasn't about souls. It was about something more earthly: electric bills and money.
The trouble was Duke Energy Florida and its predecessors kept the church on a higher rate than necessary, as the utility has with many of its other business customers. In addition, some churches such as First Baptist and other nonprofits have been charged taxes, though they are tax-exempt....
Florida's investor-owned utilities have a new, unexpected opponent: the tea party.
Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, plans to push for more solar in the Sunshine State as she has in Georgia. Her ultimate goal is to challenge the monopoly control of Florida's major utilities.
This month, the Georgia resident launched the group Conservatives for Energy Freedom, with the first chapter in Florida. ...
Duke Energy Florida's non-residential customers don't always get the rate that will result in the cheapest bill.
Businesses can choose a rate based in part on the time of day the company uses the most electricity.
Experts in utility rate-making say some Duke business customers — including churches — don't realize they can get their electricity for less, and Duke doesn't automatically give the cheapest rate....
Standing with a giant caricature posing as Gov. Rick Scott, about a four-dozen protesters gathered outside the governor’s St. Petersburg campaign office and called on him to return $1.2 million in donations from Duke Energy.
The group, led by billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate political committee, called the donations to Scott “dirty money” that they aruge was wrongfully taken from Duke ratepayers for nuclear projects that never materialized....