The letters from incensed, confused, and frustrated Florida residents continue to stream into the Levin Papantonio Rafferty office. We are posting them here as a living log of the voices of the people.
Please feel free to add your voice.
You should be heard.
From: Bob H.
Date: February 10, 2022, at 6:37:36 AM CST
I just wanted to thank your firm for addressing the situation with Florida Power and Light. I do not see any others in the Pensacola area doing so. In times such as these, the little guys like me need all the help they can get to prevent being devoured by corporate greed. It's a shame that so many care about nothing but huge profits no matter who they hurt.
My sincere thanks,
From: Melissa M.
Date: February 9, 2022, at 2:45:07 PM CST
To whom it may concern,
I am also one of those concerned about FPL and their prices. Here's a little back story.
I haven't worked since 2011 due to some medical issues and have been denied disability. My ex-husband walked out on me Sept of 2019, divorce was finalized in Aug of 2021. I live on a fixed income of $750 a month, which comes from a rental property I own in Gulf Breeze. I am type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump and my pump supplies and insulin cost a lot. With the new increase due to FPL, I'm not sure how I'm going to make ends meet especially in the summer. I already have someone else buying my groceries, due to not being able to afford it.
Please can you help us?
P.S. The next bill comes out tomorrow and it's projected to be $365.
From: Sue M.
Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 2:04 PM
My name is Sue M. I am contacting you in reference to the new electric company walking all over us!
My last electric bill with Gulf Power was $185.80. The first bill I received after this new company took over was for $246.47 FOR ONE MONTH! Nothing changed. I’m fairly conservative about keeping the heat at 67-68 degrees. May go up to 69 for a little bit to get the chill out and turn it back down. This last bill I had to break up and paid $125.47 and put $121.00 they want on the 13th. I get my disability check on the 16th.
I received the amount of the new bill today for $285.00! I have no idea how I’m going to keep up with these bills.
I am a Covid 19 survivor from April 2020, and still have long-term issues. I’m still paying some medical bills from then and throwing this into the pile is just so overwhelming.
I can’t say thank you enough that you are trying to fight this.
I am feeling like such a victim, that they are taking advantage of. I hope you are able to help and get this corrected to where we can afford it.
From: Doris K.
Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12:23 AM
Yep, I am still around. Extremely upset about this rate increase. I did just a little digging and it seems to me that they (FPL) are all over the net listing Federal agencies that will assist when folks can't pay. I have some of those quotes if you want to see them. Is Federal money one of the things they are after?
I hope you are well during these tough times, and I must say that I am so proud of you and your work.
We thank you, Mr. Papantonio, for being the voice of Pensacola and Northwest Florida citizens. We need Levin Papantonio Rafferty to stand for us. Simply low wages high prices many jobs pay $15 if lucky and if you are able to get 40 hours after taxes a monthly income is $1800 monthly. With rent over 1k and car fill-ups over $50. To food $200 a week then over water garbage sewage monthly bill is $2300 to $3k. I believe FLP needs to be educated a Monopoly utility company can’t expect this price hike to be a just cause. We’re being taken advantage of. Power companies are getting money from the infrastructure bill for upgrades for tax dollars. Gulf Power raises rate due to the Hwy 29 Gas line to turn Christine power plant from coal to natural gas in the bills ... They had time to review kw usage then came up with this tier scam. There are laws in place to stop this. We thank you for your time to look into the citizens of your hometown and ours. As said GO PAPANTONIO.
From: Harvey K.
Date: February 9, 2022 at 6:19:54 AM CST
I just saw your Commercial on TV today. You can view my email and return reply by the commission. I can't believe the commission has let this happen. I am now forced to install more solar panels because of the higher cost of electricity/ rates. So much on planning for a fixed income and my family's needs. This change will have a big impact on solar users. Thanks, Harvey
Dear Mr. Papantonio and Ms. Iverson,
I appreciate both of you advocating for the citizens of Pensacola. I wanted to let you know I contacted all the county commissioners expressing my concern for the community with the increase in the cost of electricity. Please see below.) It is important to advocate for all the citizens in Pensacola as a whole, not just the residents of the city. I live in the county. The issues of Pensacola are present in both the county and the city. I have only received a contact back from Jeff Bergosh’s office.
After working in many capacities in mental health over a 30 years time span, I am no longer able to perform the job duties due to health limitations. Over the past 30 years, I have seen the effects of poverty and the inability of individuals to provide for their basic needs. ( food, shelter, water, and electricity). I have expressed my concerns about this multigenerational issue and the influences on the social services and judicial systems. remembering both of these systems have a limited number of workers and the case numbers have only increased since the pandemic.) Escambia County is one of the poorest counties in the State of Florida and does not have statistics for the highest level of education- or graduates with some having less than a high school diploma. These factors which have a direct impact on stressors on families.
As you continue your advocacy, please keep this in mind as I do not believe those who moved forward with this change in providers for electricity in our community. This is a systemic issue. Thank you for your time reading this e-mail. I encourage you to reach out to others in the community to identify resources that may support others in being part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Fla power states my last year’s Jan bill was over $400 but actually was only $269 per my auto-pay to Gulf power on Feb 1, 2021. I have proof of it! This is either misinformation or error or intentional?? Also the good sense program many had since Gulf power started it and FL power discontinued it, yet FL power didn't remove and update thermostats or meters designed for the good sense program. Twenty-two years at my home never had a bill of $300! Now $385 and only myself living here as my husband passed last year. Mr. Papantonio, I'm sending this additional info in case you're not aware!! The citizens were lied to by all involved in this takeover, and it's really a disaster and possibly cause more illness more crime due to cutting back on heating security lights, etc. Thank you so much for the letter you sent for all and Beulah residents where I live as there are so many like myself retired disabled longtime residents living on fixed incomes, as well as a lot of young couples, single moms, etc.
From: Laura B.
Date: February 4, 2022 at 3:39:13 PM CST
I have lived at [ADDRESS] for 25 years, I am sending you a list of the amount of my power bill for a couple of years for you to see how much it went up as I heard you are looking into it. Oh, my house is 114 years old and has GAS heat.
From: Crystal J.
Date: February 8, 2022 at 9:25:58 PM CST
Thank you for speaking up about FLP. I live in Bonifay and my power bill was $645 this month, and my next is predicted to be over $700. I’m a single mom, and after a month or two of this, I won’t be able to afford to live. The small savings I had is going to them. This is so crazy! I don’t understand. Thank you!
From: Amy W.
Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2022 5:36 PM
Dear Mr. Papantonio,
I just want to thank you for looking into all of the info for Florida Power and Light.
I know you have received many emails and calls.
My name is Amy W. I started a FB group about a week and a 1/2 ago out of a whim because my electric bill doubled, and we have since gained 6.1k members, never in a million years did I think it would grow the way it has, we have Brandy that wrote the petition in our group also which has 9k signatures.
We have protests set, we are calling any and everyone we can possibly think of, if you can think of anything we can do on our end please let me know, we have 100s of people that have posted about bills in our group.
I would also like to add that maybe we add letters to Pensacola City Council, they also Okayed this.
I know that the whole panhandle is really suffering right now and need help!
Thank you for listening to us we the people!