Letters to the Editor

FPL investments save its customers’ money

The Dec. 19 artcile Regulators allow FPL to invest in natural gas fracking presents a misleading picture.

First, it deems FPL’s innovative natural-gas production proposal a “risky investment” without any evidence for such a claim. In reality, our plan is designed to reduce financial risk for our customers.

Clean, U.S.-produced natural gas is essential to electricity in Florida. However, every day, our customers are exposed to substantial risk because we have to purchase billions of dollars of natural gas on open, volatile markets. In an effort to address this problem, we proposed to buy a small portion directly from the source — cutting out the middleman’s mark-up that is currently paid for by FPL customers.

By investing at the source, we can access low, stable production costs that will enable us to reduce the amount of gas that we have to buy from fuel suppliers at fluctuating market prices. This is not “risky.” This is a smart investment.

Indeed, the $191-million investment approved by the Public Service Commission is projected to save our customers of more than $100 million above and beyond the cost of the investment.

Oddly, the story characterizes these savings as “small” — $100 million is small? We don’t think so. Every penny we can save customers on fuel costs is significant. And if we can continue to invest in similar opportunities, these savings will grow.

We’ve proven we know how to save money for customers. Not only are our customers’ bills the lowest in Florida — and well below the national average — our power is cleaner and more reliable.

Our fuel-efficiency investments are a great example. Since 2001, we have invested billions of dollars to modernize our power plants, letting us generate electricity far more efficiently than ever before. We’ve cut our use of foreign oil by 99 percent, prevented 85 million tons of carbon emissions and saved our customers $7.5 billion on fuel costs.

Every penny we save on fuel costs helps keep our customers’ electric bills low. FPL works hard to protect customers from price fluctuations in the fuel markets, and we have a strong record of successfully making investments that deliver long-term benefits and savings for our customers. By investing in essential natural gas production at the source, we believe we can continue this trend.

Sam Forrest, vice president, Energy Marketing & Trading, Florida Power & Light Co., Juno Beach