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Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This is the Sunshine State, so doesn’t solar power make sense? Then why does it only make up a tiny fraction of Florida’s electricity output? This week on Florida Matters we’re talking about the promise and prognosis of solar energy in the state.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida’s power companies have invested billions and billions of dollars to harden the electrical grid since the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005. Could you tell?

If you lost power after Hurricane Irma – and 6.5 million homes did – it may have been hard to discern how things have improved in the last dozen years.


www.blendspace.com

Electricity is such a mundane part of life we may not think about it that often -- until you lose power during a hurricane and are left sitting for days in the Florida heat! We're talking about electrical power this week on Florida Matters.


www.blendspace.com

A paraglider knocked out electricity in a Pinellas County neighborhood after crashing into power lines.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

More than 1.4 million customers in the Tampa Bay area were still without power as of 3 p.m. Monday, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Businesses could see their electricity taxes cut in half under a proposal Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam is pushing. The commissioner’s plan would also dedicate the remaining tax revenue to education.

Gov. Rick Scott has proposed cutting vehicle registration fees as part of his election year plan to save voters $500 million in taxes. On Wednesday, Putnam offered his alternative: Slash businesses’ electricity levy by 50 percent and spend the rest of the electricity taxes on schools.

TECO Seeks to Raise Residential Rates by 10%

Feb 4, 2013

Tampa Electric Company will ask for a 10 percent increase on residential rates. It could mean an average of $11 extra a month coming out of customers' pockets.

TECO  is blaming the slow recovery of the economy and costs to maintaining their infrastructures for the rate increase request.

"We know there's never a good time to raise rates and we empathize with our customers who like us are also feeling the effects of a difficult economy," says company spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs.