JUNO BEACH, FL, DEC 18, 2018 -- Florida Power & Light Company today welcomed approximately 35,000 new customers as it completed the purchase of the City of Vero Beach's electric utility. Following nearly a decade of work, the new FPL customers will now enjoy electric service that is among the most reliable and clean in the nation for a cost that is among the lowest.
"We are honored that the community has chosen to become part of the FPL family, and I am thrilled to welcome the City of Vero Beach electric system customers and employees," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "After nearly a decade of work together, we were able to overcome every obstacle and help the city achieve its goal of reducing electricity costs. We will work hard each and every day to provide our new customers with affordable, reliable and clean energy – just as we do for all of the 5 million customers we serve across half of Florida."
"On this monumental day in the history of Vero Beach, the new light that shines on our city as a result of this deal will lead our community into the next hundred years stronger, happier and healthier," said Harry Howle, mayor of the City of Vero Beach. "FPL has been an outstanding partner. I appreciate them for sticking with us, and I look forward to paying lower rates next month."
In 2009, the City of Vero Beach asked FPL to explore a potential purchase of its electric system with the goal of lowering rates for its customers. FPL and the City worked together over the years that followed to develop a solution that would bring FPL's lower rates, high reliability and clean energy to the City's electric system customers without negatively impacting FPL's existing customers.
Last fall, the Vero Beach City Council approved a $185 million agreement that allows the City to exit its contractual obligations, pay off its existing debt and receive a cash payment, while ensuring that FPL's existing customers also benefit. The acquisition is expected to save approximately $130 million for all FPL customers over time.
"After many years of hard work to resolve the high utility rate, I am pleased that the acquisition of the City of Vero Beach electric utility by Florida Power & Light is finally coming to fruition," said Florida Senator Debbie Mayfield. "I would like to thank FPL, the Indian River County Commissioners, the Town of Indian River Shores, the current City of Vero Beach Council members and the City of Vero Beach utility ratepayers for their tireless efforts throughout this process."
"This is a momentous occasion and I am proud to be part of a community that has continued to seek solutions in the face of obstacles," said Florida Representative Erin Grall. "City of Vero Beach customers will now have the due process protections afforded to the majority of Florida's citizens when it comes to their electric service, experience substantial rate relief, and receive extraordinary service. Existing FPL customers benefit by the addition of COVB customers, as it serves to diminish each customer's responsibly for FPL's fixed costs. After many years, this transaction provides a benefit to all involved."
"This is a great day for our community. Having low FPL rates for all residents has long been recognized as the single best thing that can be done for economic development in Indian River County," said Bob Solari, chairman of the Indian River County Commission.
"After years of waiting for the stars to align, electing the right leaders and refusing to accept 'no' for an answer, we have reached an agreement that will be in the best interest of all Indian River County residents," said Indian River County Commissioner Tim Zorc. "Special thanks to Florida Power & Light for being first-rate professionals throughout this very long process."
While the prices of almost all products and services have risen in recent years, FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill has remained low – about 20 percent lower than the City of Vero Beach, and about 30 percent lower than the national average. In fact, FPL's typical bill is even lower today than it was a decade ago.
Also, FPL provides award-winning customer service and reliability. In addition, FPL is recognized as one of the cleanest electric utilities in the country with a carbon emissions rate approximately 30 percent cleaner than the industry average. Two of the 14 solar power plants FPL currently operates in Florida are located in Indian River County: the FPL Indian River Solar Energy Center and the FPL Blue Cypress Solar Energy Center.