Municipal Electric Utilities Voice Energy Policy Concerns to Congress

Locally owned utilities work together for a stronger voice on national energy issues

ORLANDO, Fla., March 12, 2015 – Representatives from Florida’s municipal electric utilities visited Washington, D.C., this week to discuss energy policy issues that impact the cost and reliability of electricity to their customers.

Municipal electric utilities share a similar perspective on many energy issues, so this annual trip to the nation’s capital is coordinated by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and the Florida Municipal Electric Association to share their collective input with members of Congress.

“When local communities work together, they create strength in numbers that helps them have a strong, unified voice on behalf of their customers,” said Nicholas Guarriello, general manager and CEO of FMPA.

The utilities discussed three main issues:

  • EPA Regulations: Regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) need to be reasonable, cost effective and achievable. The utilities are concerned that EPA’s proposed carbon emission guidelines will jeopardize the utilities’ ability to provide reliable and reasonable priced electricity to customers.
  • Tax-Exempt Financing: Cities and municipal electric utilities rely on municipal bonds to finance infrastructure, including electric utility facilities. Recent proposals to limit or eliminate tax-exempt financing should be rejected because they will raise borrowing costs for cities, which will be passed along in higher electricity rates.
  • Grid Security: Utilities understand the critical role that electricity plays in our society, so they are continuously evolving security plans for the electric grid based on new threat information. Municipal electric utilities support legislation that enhances information sharing from the government to industry.

“By combining the collective influence of Florida’s municipal electric utilities, we have a more effective voice for the interests of our customers on these important national issues,” Guarriello said.

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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately two million Floridians.

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