Tampa Electric files 2010 fuel costs with Florida Public Service Commission
New filing, which reflects lower natural gas and coal prices, will result in lower customer bills
TAMPA, September 1, 2009
Today, Tampa Electric made its annual fuel filing with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). Due to lower fuel and purchased power costs for the first six months of 2009 and projections for the remainder of 2009 and 2010, the fuel portion of all customer bills will be lower beginning in January 2010. For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, the fuel charge will decrease by $6.32 upon approval by the FPSC. This requested decrease in customer bills will more than offset the scheduled January 2010 incremental increase to the base rate portion of the bill approved by the FPSC in March 2009. As a result, a 1,000 kilowatt-hour monthly residential bill will be $113.21, a $1.46 overall reduction, effective January 2010. Additionally, commercial and industrial customers also will see reductions of approximately 3 percent on their total bills.
Tampa Electric President Gordon Gillette said, “We are pleased with this overall reduction in customer bills. This represents the second reduction in fuel costs in the last eight months and our team has done an excellent job of securing these lower fuel prices for our customers.”
Due to projected fuel costs, the company estimates that by year-end 2009 it will be over-recovered by an additional $45 million, even after reducing the fuel charges on customer bills this past May by $16.17 per month on a 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential bill. While the company cannot control the price of fuel, Tampa Electric maximizes the use of existing generating assets, including the recently approved combustion turbines, to mitigate costs and pass those savings back to customers.
Tampa Electric’s fuel mix is primarily made up of coal and natural gas. The cost of fuel is a substantial portion of an electric bill, currently approaching 40 percent. Fuel costs are collected from customers by the utility at cost and used to pay fuel suppliers, typically the large oil and coal companies, without any mark-up by the utility.
In June 2009, Tampa Electric filed with the FPSC the company’s proposed energy-efficiency and conservation goal of a reduction in customer energy use of 200 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) for the next 10 years – an increase of 70 percent over the company’s current goal. To achieve this aggressive goal, the company plans to enhance several of its 27 customer energy conservation programs and explore new program opportunities for all customer sectors: residential, commercial and industrial.
Tampa Electric began promoting energy efficiency in the late 1970s – before any state legislation required electric utilities to engage in conservation activities. Since that time, it has emerged as a national leader in the area of energy-efficiency accomplishments by reaching a recent performance level in the 96th percentile nationally. The company’s overall energy-efficiency and conservation efforts have reduced the need for more than three 180-megawatt power plants. The aggregate energy savings from all programs have been enough to power more than 600,000 homes for one year.
One of Tampa Electric’s newest programs, residential Energy Planner™, enables customers to maximize energy-use decisions with near real-time prices by using a programmable thermostat provided by the company at no charge. Customers participating in the pilot study saved an average of one month’s electricity over the course of a year. Under the company’s Low Income Weatherization program, qualified customers also can receive items designed to enhance their home’s energy efficiency.
About Tampa Electric
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company, with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and distribution and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.
Note: This release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those forecasted. The forecasted information is based on the company’s current expectations and assumptions, and the company does not undertake to update that information or any other information contained in this release, except as may be required by law. Fuel prices are dependent on market conditions, and customer rates are dependent on many factors, including actions by the FPSC. Additional information is contained under “Risk Factors” in TECO Energy, Inc.’s and Tampa Electric Company’s combined Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended Dec. 31, 2008.