Tampa Electric files with Florida Public Service Commission for 2006 fuel cost reimbursement
TAMPA, September 9, 2005
Facing unprecedented high fuel prices, Tampa Electric today made its required annual filing with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking an increase in its fuel and purchased power rates in 2006. Worldwide and regional conditions have caused substantial increases in the cost of natural gas and oil. Tampa Electric estimates that its expenses for fuel and purchased power will be almost $210 million, or 28% higher than its estimates one year ago. Upon approval, the average Tampa Electric residential customer bill would increase by 10 percent or $9.90 per month. The average 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential customer bill would increase from $98.07 to $107.97 per month beginning in January 2006.
"We are very disappointed that it is necessary to increase the amounts our customers pay. Over the last year we have all seen unprecedented increases in fuel prices at the gas pump, more than 60 percent higher than this time last year. Unfortunately, for the same reasons, prices have risen for our generation fuels. The costs of oil and natural gas used to generate electricity are estimated to be 55% and 42% higher, respectively, than last year," said Chuck Black, President, Tampa Electric.
Tampa Electric does not profit financially from its fuel and purchased power costs recovered from our customers. The increase represents dollar for dollar the costs the company actually pays to third parties.
About half of the company’s generation is fueled by coal, the costs of which have not risen at the same rates as oil and gas. This fuel diversity helped mitigate Tampa Electric’s fuel charge increases.
“Domestic and world market events that impact fuel pricing have worked against our team’s best efforts to provide our customers with the most reasonably priced electricity possible," added Black.
One way that Tampa Electric has been able to defray costs charged to customers is through sales of almost $100 million in environmental allowances. These allowances were available for sale due to past and current environmental improvements made by the company.
“We have been able to use the proceeds of the sales as a credit against our fuel expenses, thereby lowering the overall fuel increase,” said Black. “Furthermore, our people have found ways to grow and maintain our system without increasing our base rates for the past 12 years. And they effectively and efficiently dealt with several hurricanes over the past year without requesting surcharges.”
Customers Spared Surcharge for 2004 Hurricane Costs
Under a settlement reached last April with the Office of Public Counsel, Tampa Electric developed a plan that allowed for no increase its customer’s monthly bills to cover the utility's hurricane restoration costs incurred in 2004. In addition, Tampa Electric also agreed not to seek a base rate increase before January 1, 2007. The base rate Tampa Electric customers pay for electricity has not changed in almost 12 years.
Tampa Electric reminds customers that there are many proven ways to conserve energy around the house and save money. For example, customers can:
- Install a programmable thermostat. A 10 degree set back for 8 to 10 hours can save 10 to 20 percent on cooling costs.
- Service cooling systems and adjust for maximum efficiency and save up to 15 percent on cooling costs.
- Increase summer thermostat setting and save 6 to 8 percent per degree on cooling costs for every degree over 78.
- Turn thermostat off when home is unoccupied for extended periods of time and save up to 15 percent on cooling costs
- Install flow restricting devices in showers and faucets and save 5–10 percent on water heating use.
- Seal leaks in HVAC ductwork and save 10 to 30 percent on cooling costs
- Replace central air conditioner with a more efficient unit and save 14 to 40 percent on cooling costs.
For more conservation tips or information about our energy-saving programs, visit the "Save Energy" section.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with core businesses in the utility sector, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Tampa Electric Company is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in waterborne transportation, coal and synthetic fuel production and independent power.