At NextEra Energy, we believe a strong economy is good for everyone, and we are doing our part to encourage investment, job creation and sustainable development. This is true particularly in Florida, where FPL has consistently supported the vision that if Florida's economy grows, everyone wins.
Recent data shows Florida's economy is growing once again, and FPL is doing its part to energize economic opportunity across its service territory.
- Billions Invested in Clean Energy Development
In 2015, NextEra Energy continued to build on its position as the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and today continues to execute a power plant modernization program that means substantially lower air emissions rates for Floridians and a huge reduction in our dependence on foreign oil. This multibillion dollar investment program created construction jobs across numerous states and enough new affordable, reliable and clean energy to power thousands of homes and businesses.
The investment program embraced our core belief of strength through differences, and supported a diverse business community of qualified small-, women- and minority-owned businesses. From Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015, small businesses earned more than $395 million of FPL contracts. Moreover, on certain major construction projects we encourage prime suppliers to exercise reasonable efforts to seek and use local labor and other resources, whenever possible and cost effective.
Spotlight: EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust
Many individuals, businesses, and organizations seek strategies to contribute to a low-carbon economy, so we launched the EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust in 2009. When customers purchase EarthEra renewable energy certificates and emissions reduction products, 100 percent of the proceeds support new renewable projects that will be built, owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. As of May 19, 2015, approximately $65 million has been added to the EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust. For more information, visit www.EarthEra.com.
- Partnerships with State and Local Economic Development Organizations
Floridians cannot take economic growth for granted, as competition for jobs and investment has increased across America and around the world.
FPL launched an initiative called "Powering Florida" in 2013 to encourage more companies to move their operations right here in Florida, creating a special "Economic Development electric rate" to qualifying businesses with 25 or more employees. To date, 48 companies have qualified for the discounted rate and the best news is that these businesses are expected to add more than 8,000 jobs in Florida.
FPL's economic development program partners with Enterprise Florida and local economic development offices to send the signal that Florida is open for business.
FPL’s PoweringFlorida.com is an online resource to help strengthen Florida's competitive business advantage and grow the state's economy. Designed to help businesses start up, expand or relocate their operations in Florida, this tool provides site selection experts with direct access to information about the state's workforce, real estate, utility rates and potential discounts and incentives. In addition, the site provides local economic development organizations in Florida with tailored data about their communities to help them better market their strengths and target potential businesses.
PoweringFlorida.com builds on FPL's existing economic development efforts, including special discounted rates to attract business growth which lead to job creation for Floridians.
- Support for Local Needs Through Our Tax Payments
Nationwide, NextEra Energy paid more than $564 million in property taxes in 2015. In Florida, we were one of the top taxpayers, paying more than $1.2 billion in various state and local taxes and business-related fees, including property taxes, use taxes, gross receipts taxes, and franchise fees. In property taxes alone, we paid more than $438 million to Florida governments in 2015, up from $397 million in 2014. Property taxes are administered at the county level with all funds going directly into the communities the company serves. A breakdown of approximate 2015 tax payments is as follows:
- 48 percent, or $210 million, went to local governments in the form of support for county fire, police and other government services;
- 39 percent, or $171 million, went directly to schools;
- 11 percent, or $48 million, went to city governments; and
- 2 percent, or $9 million, went to other organizations such as water management districts.