By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The state Public Service Commission on Monday began a series of customer hearings about a four-year proposal that would lead to base-rate increases for Florida Power & Light.

Supporters and opponents gave testimony about the proposal, which calls for a $1.1 billion increase in base-rate revenues in 2022 and a $607 million increase in 2023.

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It also calls for a $140 million increase in 2024 and a $140 million increase in 2025 to pay for solar-energy projects.

“The plan will allow us to continue to make proven investments in infrastructure, clean energy and technology that benefits our customers and the growing state,” FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said in opening comments.

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Other speakers questioned the proposed increases. “Our position is simply that FPL should have enough money, not too much,” said Robert Scheffel Wright, an attorney for the group Floridians Against Increased Rates.

“It is FPL’s duty and responsibility to provide safe and reliable service at the lowest possible cost. That is its job.” Monday’s hearing was the first of a dozen customer hearings this week and next week about the proposed increases.

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The proposal also is designed to continue carrying out FPL’s merger with Northwest Florida’s Gulf Power, which formally took effect Jan. 1. The Public Service Commission is in the middle of a months-long process of analyzing the proposal before deciding whether to approve it. Team