The bird in hand: Stipulated settlements in the Florida electricity sector
In the last quarter century, stipulated settlements between the electric utilities and the Office of Public Counsel have largely superseded the traditional method of litigation before the Florida Public Services Commission. Some have opposed settlements. But consumers have gained from reductions in electricity revenues worth over $3Â billion, which are greater or earlier than would have otherwise occurred. The utilities have benefited from commitments by parties outside the scope of the Commission, and from a more flexible accounting policy. Most importantly, stipulations have changed the form and nature of regulation: away from a conventional rate of return approach to a fixed-price approach, and later away from incentive schemes with profits caps to stronger and more enforceable incentive schemes without profit caps.
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