Make no mistake about it. Florida Power and Light is out to fool you. The FPL-funded misinformation campaign and attack ads now being run by Clean Sweep for a Brighter Tomorrow seem to be having an affect, at least on some. One regular commenter to InsideVero, who lives in Indian River Shores, claims he will save thousands of dollars by switching from Vero Electric to FPL. A review of this commenter’s electric bills proves his claims, perhaps shaped by FPL-funded advertising, simply are not accurate.
According to records obtained from the City Clerks’ office through a public records request, this commenter’s electric bill for the month of August was $337.92 for 2655 kilowatts of power, or 12.7 per kilowatt hour. In 2013, he paid Vero Electric $385.92 for 2760 kilowatts of power, or 14 cents per kilowatt hour. In 2009, the year everyone wants to claim is still with us, he paid $540.94 for 3363 kilowatts of power, or 16 cents per kilowatt hour.
August 2009 – $540.94
August 2013 – $385.92
August 2017 – $337.76
Currently, Vero Electric’s rate for 2500 kWh is $317.02. FPL’s BASE rate is $268.33. However, FPL assesses peaking charges, so this individual’s rate may be higher with FPL depending on when he use your power. Also, FPL’s rates will be going up soon as a result of approvals the company has already received from the Florida Public Service Commission. Additionally, as a customer of FPL he will have the opportunity to pay storm recovery charges resulting from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and for who knows what else might come along.
By this time next year, the rate difference between Vero Electric and FPL for 2500 kWh will likely be closer to $317.02 vs. $285, for a difference of $32 per month – and that assumes this commenter will not be using any of his power during peak times. At a difference of $32 per month, he stands to save more like $384.24 a year.
Interestingly, if he lived in the unincorporated area of the south barrier island, where utility activist Stephen Flaherty lives, he would pay an additional $20 or so a month as a franchise fee to Indian River County. That would leave a savings of $12 a month, or $144 a year, for a customer using 2500 kWh of power. That amounts to a savings of just 3.8 percent.
Everyone knows quite well FPL is currently funding a political action committee that is placing advertising claiming the rates savings will be 20 percent. Quite simply, those claims are outright lies.
Public support for the sale of Vero Electric is based on assumed savings of some 20% that simply will not materialize. With more than a little laziness, if not negligence on the part of the local press, FPL has done a masterful job of misleading the public about the supposed benefit of the sale of Vero Beach’s electric utility.
At a special call meeting to be held tomorrow at 9:30 the Vero Beach City Council is to consider a proposed purchase and sale agreement for handing Vero Electric over to FPL. As of this morning, many documents key to the several-hundred-page agreement had yet to be given to member of the Council.