Community Engagement

Fla. regulators OK transfer of Vero Beach customers to IOU

The Florida Public Service Commission on June 5 issued a decision that clears the way for the city of Vero Beach to sell its electric utility to investor-owned Florida Power & Light Company.

The PSC signed off on a plan under which FP&L will serve customers currently served by the City of Vero Beach’s public power utility.

The Commission directed FP&L to charge customers in the added territory the same rates it charges its existing customers, which the PSC said would result in an approximately $27 decrease on a typical 1,000 kWh monthly residential bill.

The decisions would go into effect only if the utilities close on their asset purchase and sale agreement in which FP&L would acquire Vero Beach’s electric utility assets and operations.

The PSC does not have direct authority over changes in electric utility ownership, but changes in service territories and the rates that are charged require Commission approval.

FP&L sought recognition for future ratemaking purposes of its investment of $116.2 million above the value of the assets it will acquire, and a majority of the PSC agreed. 

Under the purchase and sale agreement terms, FP&L will purchase the Vero Beach utility system for $185 million by Dec. 31, 2018. 

In March, the governing boards of the Florida Municipal Power Agency gave final approval to agreements that will allow the city of Vero Beach to exit FMPA’s power projects and sell its electric utility.

The unanimous approvals by FMPA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee were the last step after the required 19 cities had agreed to Vero Beach’s buy out of its FMPA contracts.