Florida Groups Urge Utility Regulators to Boost Energy Efficiency
Monday, November 11, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Conservation groups say Florida's newly updated energy-saving goals are still too low and should be raised. The Florida Public Service Commission recently voted to maintain the state's current energy conservation goals through 2025 instead of following power companies' requests to lower or even eliminate those goals.
Florida's largest utility, Florida Power and Light, and others admitted they have little economic incentive to promote energy efficiency, suggesting customers should make their own goals. But Bradley Marshall, an attorney with Earthjustice, said that attitude keeps Florida near the bottom for efforts to save energy compared with other states.
"Right now, we're about 45th in the nation,” Marshall said. “But staying at 45th is certainly a lot better than dropping all the way to last by zeroing out those goals."
Florida law calls for the commission to set conservation goals for public utilities every five years.
Utility companies have long been working to chip away at the goals, convincing regulators in 2014 to end a solar-energy rebate program and to cut energy-efficiency targets by more than 80%. Marshall said moves likes that put the state at odds with the global fight against climate change.
"One of the most effective ways of stopping climate change, first of all, is by lowering the amount that we're using - our power plants are emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” he said. “And the cheapest way to do that is through lowering our energy use through energy efficiency."
Marshall said he's happy state regulators pushed back against the utilities, and he credits public pressure. But he understands the companies have the money and the drive to keep fighting future energy-efficiency goals.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …