Tampa Electric files to lower rates for 2012
If approved, Tampa Electric’s residential bills would remain well below national average
TAMPA, September 1, 2011
Tampa Electric customers could see slightly lower bills beginning in January 2012 due to lower costs for fuel and purchased power, which are the result of excellent power-plant performance and well-managed fuel purchasing.
The company today filed projected costs for fuel and other clauses with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). If the PSC approves the request as filed, a residential customer’s monthly bill would drop 10 cents to $106.92 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), from the current $107.02 a month. Commercial customers would remain flat; industrial customers would see a slight decrease.
“This is the fourth consecutive reduction in fuel costs over the past three years,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “In these challenging economic times, a decrease is a move in the right direction. We are pleased to be able to maintain low, stable bills while providing outstanding value to our customers.
“After adjusting for inflation, Tampa Electric customers would be paying bills that are 17 percent lower than 20 years earlier,” Gillette said. “This compares to other staples, such as gasoline and bread, which have risen 99 percent and 21 percent, respectively, during that time.”
If approved as filed, Tampa Electric residential customers’ bills would remain more than 8 percent below the national average – which is $116.80 per month, according to May 2011 data from the Energy Information Administration.
The PSC is expected to vote on the issue after a hearing scheduled to begin Nov. 1.
Due to lower projected fuel costs, the company estimates that by the end of 2011 it will spend $47 million less on fuel than originally projected. The decrease in the fuel portion of the bill is based on lower costs for natural gas and purchased power during the first six months of 2011, projections for the remainder of 2011 and expected fuel prices in 2012.
Tampa Electric’s fuel mix is predominantly comprised of coal and natural gas. The cost of fuel is a substantial portion of an electric bill, currently almost 40 percent for residential customers. Tampa Electric makes no profit from the cost of fuel. Although the company cannot control the price of fuel, Tampa Electric maximizes the use of existing low-cost, well-performing plants and power purchased from other companies to mitigate costs and pass the savings to customers.
Today’s filing also includes projections for other costs, including environmental expenses, which pay for increased operating costs for pollution-control equipment, and energy-efficiency programs, such as the expanded list of programs now offered to customers. Since May 2011, the company has implemented two new energy-efficiency programs and four new renewable-energy initiatives, and it has enhanced rebates for most existing programs. With those additions, the company now offers 35 programs to residential, commercial and industrial customers. For more information on the company’s energy-efficiency programs, visit tampaelectric.com/save.
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 . Tampa Electric serves more than 672,000 customers in West Central Florida. 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 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 PSC. Additional information is contained under “Risk Factors” in TECO Energy, Inc.’s and Tampa Electric Company’s combined Annual Report on Form 10-K.