The transition team of Gov.-elect Rick Scott is quietly mulling a plan to have residential power customers pick up the tab for a cut in business utility rates, the News Service of Florida reports:
Scott’s advisers are floating the idea of an “economic development rate” for corporations that agree to relocate to Florida or expand businesses within the state. The level of utility cost savings would be tied to job creation, under the plan.
But Florida’s four big investor-owned utilities would not have to absorb the rate reduction — or ask investors to pick up the tab, said those familiar with the proposal. Instead, rate reductions given these companies would be offset by higher charges imposed on a utility’s overall rate base — with residential customers shouldering most of the costs.
The idea, which is not mentioned in documents released last week by the Scott transition team, builds on a campaign pledge to save businesses $3.25 billion on their electricity bills in an effort to create jobs.
Nancy Argenziano, who abruptly left the state’s Public Service Commission in the fall to campaign for Scott’s Democratic rival Alex Sink, warned at the time of her resignation that such a proposal could be part of Scott’s plan.
As it did with its proposal to save $1 billion on the state’s prison system, the Scott campaign didn’t specify a time frame for the $3.25 billion figure, which first appeared in his “7-7-7″ plan for creating jobs and cutting government.