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Tampa Electric gets Florida Public Service Commission approval to expand energy-efficiency programs and incentives

The new programs, to be available to customers in the first quarter of 2011, include $1.5 million in incentives Tampa Electric will offer each year for five years to help customers install photovoltaic (PV) solar systems and solar water heating.

TAMPA, December 1, 2010

Tampa Electric received approval yesterday from the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to expand its current lineup of energy-efficiency programs for customers. In addition to the new programs and enhancements to existing programs, $1.5 million in incentives will be offered by Tampa Electric each year for five years to help customers install renewable technologies. Those measures include :

  • Residential Solar Water Heating – Provides customer incentives up to $1,000 for installing new solar water heating systems.
  • Solar PV Systems – Provides incentives to customers who install PV systems at their homes or businesses.
  • PV for Schools – Tampa Electric will install five 10-kilowatt (kW) systems with battery backup power (one school per year over five years) at schools that also can function as emergency shelters. The PV technology will provide educational opportunities to teachers and students.
  • Low-Income Solar Water Heating – Solar water heating systems will be available for installation on new construction in collaboration with nonprofit building organizations.

The new programs should be available to customers in first quarter of 2011. The availability of these incentives is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will be accepted online at tampaelectric.com.

“Saving energy is important to our customers during these challenging economic times,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. “In designing these new programs, we considered the growing interest community leaders and small and large customers have in renewable technologies, energy conservation and, smart and efficient-energy management equipment and systems. These new and enhanced programs can help customers lower their energy bills.”

The FPSC also approved the company’s plans to add new features or enhancements to its existing residential and commercial energy conservation programs, including:

For residential customers:

- Free Energy Audits – An inspection of customers’ homes that identifies areas where they may be wasting valuable energy. The company provides three convenient audits (Online, Phone-Assisted and In-Home). Each type of audit includes a free pack of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

- Heating and Cooling – Pays an incentive up to $400 to encourage the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems in existing dwellings.

- Ceiling Insulation – Pays an incentive up to $350 when new insulation is added; up from the previous incentive of $200.

- Window Replacement/Upgrades – Pays an incentive of $2.65 per square foot with no maximum; the previous maximum amount was $350.

- Window Film – Pays an incentive up to $2 per square foot with no maximum; an increase from the previous $1 per square foot with a $200 maximum.

- Wall Insulation – Pays an incentive of $0.31 per square foot with no maximum; up from the previous $200 maximum for all exterior walls.

- HVAC Maintenance Program – A new program that pays an incentive up to $75 for maintenance and tune-up of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to ensure operation at optimal efficiency.

- HVAC Motor Replacement Program – A new program that pays an incentive up to $135 for installing a more energy-efficient motor in an existing air handler.

For business customers:

- Free Energy Audits – A free program designed to increase awareness of energy use, includes a free pack of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

- Commercial Lighting – Offers an increased incentive of $175 per kilowatt (kW) for lighting upgrades, as well as $25 for each exit sign upgrade to LED technology.

- Commercial Cooling – Increased incentives for installing high-efficiency cooling systems in existing dwellings.

- Commercial Duct Repair – Pays an incentive of $350 for the repair of leaking duct systems; up from the previous level of $200.

- Chiller Program – Increased incentives to $175 per kW for replacing inefficient cooling equipment with higher efficiency equipment.

- HVAC Maintenance Program – A new program that pays an incentive up to $25 per ton of costs for maintenance and tune-up of HVAC equipment to ensure operation at optimal efficiency.

- Standby Generator – Pays an increased incentive of $4 per kW for utilization of a customer’s emergency generation capacity during peak periods.

- Commercial Energy-Efficient Motors – Pays an incentive of $6 per horsepower for energy-efficient motor upgrades.

- Occupancy Sensors – Offers $25 per sensor installed to control indoor lights and reduce energy costs.

- Electronically Commutated Motors – A new program that pays an incentive up to $180 per horsepower to retrofit and/or replace inefficient evaporator motors for HVAC or refrigeration equipment.

- Roof Insulation – A new Building Envelope program that pays $0.15 per square foot of insulation.

- Ceiling Insulation and Wall Insulation – Two existing programs available as part of the Building Envelope program will offer increased incentives.

- Energy Recovery Ventilation – A new program that pays an incentive for installing an energy-recovery ventilation system designed to reduce indoor humidity.

- Cool Roof – A new program that pays an incentive up to $0.60 per square foot for the installation of a cool roof system designed to reduce heat transfer.

- Commercial Load Management – Increased incentives for allowing Tampa Electric to control operation of air conditioning or specialized equipment during critical energy-use periods.

Low-Income Program Enhancements

Tampa Electric’s existing Low-Income program will receive additional weatherization measures, such as free insulation and duct repair. The company will work closely with established organizations, such as the Centre for Women, to identify and mass-deliver free and low-cost energy-efficiency measures to qualifying neighborhoods throughout the company’s service area.

In addition, Tampa Electric also will partner with neighborhood service centers to offer free energy-efficient packages to low-income residents who qualify for assistance with their energy costs. The packages will include energy-saving light bulbs, air filter change reminders, faucet aerators, hot water temperature check cards and more.

The company began its conservation program initiatives in the late 1970s, prior to any federal or state energy conservation requirements. From 1979 through 2009, Tampa Electric has performed more than 390,000 energy audits and paid almost 385,000 incentives and rebates to customers who have participated in Tampa Electric’s conservation programs – offsetting the need to generate enough electricity to serve more than 683,800 average-size homes over a 12-month period.

Learn more about Tampa Electric’s energy-saving programs online:

-Residential: tampaelectric.com/residential/saveenergy

-Business: tampaelectric.com/business/saveenergy

In 1999, the company installed an 18,000-watt solar panel array at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. Additional installations include a 4,000-watt solar panel array at Walker Middle School in Odessa; a 7,000-watt solar panel array at Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach ; a 10,500-watt solar panel array at Middleton High School in Tampa; a 15,000-watt photovoltaic array at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo; and a 10,000-watt photovoltaic array at the Florida Aquarium. The energy generated by these arrays helps to serve the customers participating in Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program and reduces the need for energy from non-renewable sources.

Tampa Electric offers a Renewable Energy program that makes it easy for customers to purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable sources by signing up for $5 blocks of renewable energy. For each block purchased, Tampa Electric will distribute 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy.

As of the end of July 2010, Tampa Electric customers are purchasing approximately 3,750 blocks of renewable energy each month. This is equal to offsetting 750,000 kWh or 641 tons of carbon dioxide monthly – the same as removing 80 cars from the road for one year.

Tampa Electric customers, including organizations, also can purchase renewable energy to power one-time events at a convention center, hotel, stadium or other location. Participation in the company’s Renewable Energy program helps support technologies that create more energy from Florida renewable sources.

For more information on Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program, visit tampaelectric.com/renewable.

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 coal, and electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon