FYI Miami: March 25, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
ELECTRIC BILLS TO GAS UP: Florida Power & Light customers would see increases in monthly bills starting in May because of higher-than-expected natural gas costs, under a recommendation issued Friday by staff members of the state Public Service Commission. FPL is seeking to collect an additional $302.5 million related to costs of fuel for its power plants. Each fall, the Public Service Commission approves estimated utility fuel costs, which are then passed on to customers. But utilities can return to the commission for increases if fuel costs are substantially higher than projected. The commission is slated to take up FPL’s request April 1. The utility proposed beginning to collect the additional money in April, but the recommendation from commission staff members said the change should start May 1 to provide more time to give notice to customers. As a benchmark, the utility industry typically uses monthly bills of residential customers who consume 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. Currently, such FPL customers pay $99.05 a month. Under the commission staff recommendation, that amount would rise to $103.02 in May and continue through December.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE SURCHARGE: Annual fees on electric vehicles would rise to help build charging stations as Florida anticipates a continued move away from gas-powered cars and trucks, under a proposal backed Tuesday in the Senate. Sen. Jeff Brandes, who has been an advocate for new vehicle technologies, wants fees to seed a grant fund of about $10 million a year so companies will set up fast-charging stations ahead of increases in demand. He anticipates the share of electric vehicles on Florida roads, now less than 1%, to hit 15% to 25% by 2030. Fully electric cars would be charged $135 a year on top of existing license taxes, with tractor-trailer trucks and other vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more facing a $235 a year charge. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, because they still require gas, would draw a flat fee of $35. The bill would exempt low-speed vehicles such as golf carts. The annual fees would increase by $15 in 2025.
GAS PRICES UP: Miami gas prices have risen 2.1 cents per gallon in the past week to average $2.92. Gas prices in Miami are 29.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and 81.9 cents higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy’s price-tracking report. The national average price of gasoline fell 0.3 cents per gallon in the past week to average $2.86. The national average is up 22.2 cents per gallon from a month ago and 78.2 cents higher than a year ago.