Enough is enough. I am tired of seeing our citizens being misled through disinformation and partial truths. I am appalled at this smear campaign purportedly led by Family Businesses for Affordable Energy that insults Destin's intelligence and its council's motivations and intentions.
Have any of you MET these people? Who is this Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org) who, with automated efficiency, responds to the auto-generated emails their website creates to supposedly represent your best interest? Does she live here? What about Alex Ayers, the Executive Director of Family Business for Affordable Energy? Where in Destin does he live?
Now think about your council and mayor. We ALL live here in Destin. We all pay electricity bills here. We are all impacted just like you. Who really has an interest here - us or a Washington, DC, lobbying firm who is PAID to protect the interests of industry?
Did you know:
--Family Businesses for Affordable Energy is deeply tied to the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), the trade-and-lobbying group for the electrical-equipment industry.
--Family Businesses for Affordable Energy did the same thing in Spring/Summer 2017 - launching the same type of campaign against a city considering solar energy. (http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/fpl-blamed-for-funding-anti-solar-robocalls-in-south-miami-mayor-philip-stoddard-says-9432591)
--To try and steer citizens in South Miami away from considering a switch to solar energy, Family Businesses for Affordable Energy created the website http://makesolarsafe.com/ to create fear and prevent the switch.
--This is exactly the same tactic they are using here in Destin with the creation of http://www.nopowerswitch.com/ - They want to create fear and turn citizens against its own council.
--Family Businesses for Affordable Energy works to protect the interest of utility companies- not the citizens.
-- The city's contract with Gulf Power ended last year and we are on temporary extensions. THIS is why we are reevaluating our contract and taking a look at any and all options that might be available to provide the best service at the best rates for our citizens.
--Renegotiating a contract is standard. So is weighing options. This DOES NOT mean that we are definitely going in any one direction. NO decisions have been made on anything except our need to consider all possibilities as due diligence for our citizens.
--Gulf Power initially wished to remove the purchase option from a new contract. This is why we began looking into it as one of MANY options. If they did remove the option, that would mean there would no longer be an option to purchase now or for the life of the contract (which is usually several decades in duration).
--Investigation has shown that, according to compiled data from October 2017, Gulf Power has one of the top 3 highest rates of 39 providers in Florida, and is the HIGHEST at 1000 kWh. Only Florida Public Utilities NW and NE are higher at greater usage levels. (publicpower.com/pdf/rates/2017/2017_october_rates.pdf)
--The lowest rates at 1000 kWh were found in the Town of Havana -$95.80 (The Town of Havana purchases its electricity from Florida Municipal Power Agency, a joint action agency); Gulf Power charges $134.19; Florida Public Utilities NW and NE charge $134.15.
More than anything, I want you to reach out to your council. You elected us to represent you. We are immersed in this and know all the facts- no one else does. To Family Businesses for Affordable Energy, the whole truth and all the facts are irrelevant. Their goal is protecting big interest- NOT YOU. Your council is interested in protecting YOU. As us questions, share your concerns personally. We want to be open and transparent and give you the answers you seek and allay your concerns. Remember, we live here, too. Why would we act in a way that would harm not only you, but ourselves?
The lines of communication are open. Please reach out and spread the word- we are Destin citizens looking to do what is right for Destin.