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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – AARP wants a say on whether Florida Power & Light should be allowed to raise base electricity rates by nearly $1.34 billion over three years.

On Monday, the senior advocacy group filed a petition to intervene with the Florida Public Service Commission.

“AARP desires to advocate on behalf of the residential electric customers of FP&L in order to ensure that their rates are no higher than a level that is just and reasonable,” the petition said. “More specifically, AARP’s interest relates to how FP&L’s proposal may directly and adversely impact those customers who are aged 50 and over. People aged 50 and over are more vulnerable to increases in energy prices. These consumers also devote a higher percentage of their total spending than do other age groups towards residential energy costs.”

Already approved to intervene in the case have been the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, which includes large electricity users; retail giants Wal-Mart Stores East, LP and Sam’s East, Inc.; federal government agencies; and the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Also taking part in the case is the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers. FPL formally filed the rate-hike request last month with the Public Service Commission.

If the request is approved, the first increase of $866 million would take effect in 2017. The commission is scheduled to start a hearing in the case Aug. 22, according to document posted by the commission.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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