It is time for the City Commission to take concrete steps towards addressing the high electric rates the people of Tallahassee are faced with year after year.
tallahasseereports.com has researched and addressed the failure of the City Commission to deal with transmission line problems that plague our connection with Progress Energy and deprives the City of Tallahassee the ability to import and export power for our economic benefit.
Here is a possible course of action to address this problem:
Progress Energy Florida (PEF) has recently filed a petition before the Florida Public Service Commission to increase their rates so they can meet the goals that the Florida Legislature and the Governor have set forth.
These goals strive for a future where “Florida utility customers have even more reliable electric service produced by cleaner, more efficient resources, including more stable and affordable fuel prices.”
The City of Tallahassee should immediately intervene in this case and tell the Florida Public Service Commission and PEF that we want to be a part of the energy future the Governor talks about.
The City of Tallahassee should tell the PSC that for us to get to that energy future, the years of neglect that has left Tallahassee on an “energy island” must end and the PEF transmission lines should be upgraded.
Discussions with regulatory attorney’s indicate the City of Tallahassee would have the standing to address this issue in the PEF rate case. This position is supported by language in section 366.04 (5) of the Florida Statutes which details the PSC jurisdiction on these issues and reads as follows:
The commission shall further have jurisdiction over the planning, development, and maintenance of a coordinated electric power grid throughout Florida to assure an adequate and reliable source of energy for operational and emergency purposes in Florida and the avoidance of further uneconomic duplication of generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
The City of Tallahassee has waited long enough for this issue to be handled through “back channels.” For whatever reason, we have been reluctant to engage PEF with a petition of our own.
The PEF rate case presents a golden opportunity for Mayor Marks – a former Florida Public Service Commission Chairman – and the City Commission to demonstrate leadership on this issue and have our grievance addressed by the PSC.