Florida Public Service Commission approves innovative Tampa Electric energy efficiency program
TAMPA, August 28, 2007
The Florida Public Service Commission today approved the expansion of Tampa Electric’s innovative Energy PlannerSM Pilot Program to all qualified customers. With this approval, Tampa Electric becomes one of only two electric utilities in the southeast to offer this state-of-the-art program. Energy Planner allows participating customers to make energy consumption decisions based on time-of-day and seasonal energy prices by using a company-provided programmable thermostat to control their central heating and cooling system, electric water heater and/or pool pumps.
Tampa Electric will begin marketing the program to residential customers living in single-family homes (excluding mobile homes and attached dwellings like apartments, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums) as soon as the permanent infrastructure is in place. There will be no cost to sign up and participate in the program.
Energy Planner customers receive multi-tiered electricity rates for a certain time-of-day and season. Customers can then choose to alter their energy consumption based on the price tiers.
Tampa Electric conducted a pilot program beginning in April 2005 with 250 customers. The vast majority of pilot program customers were satisfied with the program and said they would recommend the program to a friend or family member. Pilot program customers averaged 10 to 12 percent annual savings on their electricity costs, or nearly a month’s worth of electricity based on average usage.
President Chuck Black said, "Energy Planner is an exciting and innovative addition to our energy efficiency programs, and we're very pleased to have approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to expand it based on a successful pilot. Energy efficiency programs like this allow customers to take control over their energy usage and partner with us to minimize the impact on the environment, while having the opportunity to save significantly on their monthly electricity costs."
Black added that energy efficiency is one of the components of the company's overall emphasis on environmental responsibility. The company is in the final stages of a 10-year, $1.2 billion environmental improvement program to dramatically reduce emissions from its power plants. Tampa Electric is also expanding its use of renewable energy. The company just installed the largest school-based photovoltaic array in the state at Middleton High School in Tampa.
Tampa Electric has also filed for approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to expand its current offerings of energy efficiency programs to include new conservation programs such as:
A Low Income Program that provides no cost items to low-income families to help them conserve energy, and
New features or enhancements to existing residential and commercial energy conservation programs that will include:
- A Telephone Audit that will provide more convenience to customers
- Window Replacement/Upgrades that pay incentives up to $350
- A Window Film program that pays incentives up to $1 per square foot
- A Home Energy Audit that will provide participating customers with six compact fluorescent lamps
- Heating & Cooling program incentives of up to $275
- Ceiling Insulation incentives up to $200
- Reduced Duct Repair fees of $50 (from $79)
- Commercial Cooling enhancements – including increased incentives and expansion to include larger units
- A Commercial Energy Efficient Motors program that will provide $2.50 incentive per horsepower for energy efficient motor upgrades
The company expects a decision from the FPSC on these new or modified programs in the near future.
Tampa Electric began its conservation program initiatives in the late 1970s prior to any federal or state energy conservation requirements. The company continues to promote conservation to its customers through various existing programs, including its Home Energy Audit, which identifies energy consumption problems, Heating and Cooling Rebates and Ceiling Insulation programs. From 1979 through 2006, Tampa Electric’s conservation programs have offset the need to generate enough electricity to serve 528,000 average size homes over a 12-month period.
Almost 400,000 customers have participated in Tampa Electric’s conservation programs to date, which has resulted in the company paying energy conservation incentives to approximately 270,000 customers.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, 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 electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.