Profits Over People
We fundamentally believe that no business or policy decision should leave our neighbors or loved ones in the dark during times of collective hardship. Accessible and affordable energy services are essential to maintain our communities’ security and well-being. With this firm belief, energy justice advocates throughout the state have worked to establish and extend moratoriums on electricity shut-offs since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Unfortunately, FPL resumed disconnections on households after six months in October 2020. This led to over 250,000 shut-offs (source: combined data from October, November, December) during a year characterized by record-breaking heat, widespread financial loss, and unprecedented public health risks.
Demonstrators from community groups gather outside FPL building in Miami where they have planted 250 flags to represent the 250,000 disconnections initiated by FPL after the moratorium on electricity shut-offs expired in the final months of 2020.
Meanwhile in 2020, the company banked over $2.65 billion in net earnings and FPL’s president and CEO Eric Silagy received an $8,801,904 compensation package. This is a $1.1 million jump from his compensation in 2019 and over 150 times as much as the median household income earned by Floridans in recent years. Our households, known to FPL as residential customers, are the greatest source of this revenue. Since 2016, residential customers have consistently accounted for 55 percent of their earnings.
Low-income communities are often those most impacted by high energy burden and energy insecurity. When residents have inconsistent access to adequate, reliable and affordable energy services, they are forced to grapple with tradeoffs between energy and other essential expenses. Energy insecurity often becomes a part of a cascade of disadvantages including financial wellness, housing quality, nutrition, and mental health.
FPL has repeatedly stated that they proudly keep typical residential customer bills well below the national average through the end of 2025. This is based on the unrealistic and false assumption that the average customer for every utility uses an average 1,000 kWh per month. This average is inappropriate for FPL to use because FPL’s performance in terms of residential customer bills is far below average (page 6) when compared to other large investor-owned utilities.