Utilities in Florida trail well behind those in other states in their commitment to energy efficiency, according to an analysis by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). The environmental advocacy group found NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) as one of the biggest laggards.
In 2019, SACE found that NextEra subsidiary Florida Power & Light (FPL) only saved 54.2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity via its efficiency programs. That was about two-thirds the level of Duke Energy's (NYSE:DUK) Florida utility and less than half of the savings of Tampa Electric Company (TECO). Those meager savings came even though NextEra sells three times as much electricity as Duke and six times what TECO sells.
Meanwhile, NextEra's Gulf Power subsidiary also trailed the energy efficiency savings of other utilities. TECO, which is three times larger than Gulf, delivered 26 times the electricity savings of Gulf Power.
While NextEra's utility subsidiaries fall short of others on energy efficiency, their customers pay much lower electricity bills on average because of the investments both companies have made on lowering costs like fuel. For example, the average 1,000 kWh residential electric bill for an FPL customer in 2019 was $101, compared to $119 for the average investor-owned utility in the state and the $143 national average. Meanwhile, its carbon dioxide emissions rate of 665 pounds per MWh was well below the 901 Lbs/MWh industry average. That's because the company has focused its investments on reducing costs and emissions instead of on energy efficiency initiatives.