Residential customers could save nearly $90 on their electric bills for the second half of the year
TAMPA, March 25, 2020
Due to lower natural gas prices, Tampa Electric today requested a significant decrease to customer bills from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). Because of the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, the utility is seeking to accelerate the savings for customers, beginning in June.
In total, a residential customer could save nearly $90 or more on their power costs for the rest of the year. This equates to a bill reduction of about 11 percent for residential customers, depending on usage. Commercial customers could see a reduction of 14 percent to 20 percent, depending on usage.
“Unique times call for unique solutions to help our customers,” said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “We look forward to working with the PSC, the Office of Public Counsel and other stakeholders to provide economic relief to our customers at a time when they need it most.”
The company today filed updated projected fuel costs with the PSC and made a request to accelerate the refund. Specific impact to customers’ bills will be determined when the PSC votes on the proposal on May 5 and would take effect June 1 through Dec. 31, if approved.
Tampa Electric residential customers’ bills would remain among the lowest in Florida and more than 20 percent below the national average. Before the reduction, Tampa Electric’s residential customers pay $102.19 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy use. According to December 2019 data from the Energy Information Administration, the national average of residential electric bills is $126.90 per month.
Utilities adjust their fuel costs annually, typically in January. However, when costs are expected to change significantly, utilities can request an additional adjustment. Expected natural gas prices have substantially decreased since Tampa Electric submitted its projected 2020 costs in September 2019, and the company is requesting to pass the $130 million reduction to customers.
Tampa Electric’s fuel mix in 2019 was 84 percent natural gas, about 4 percent solar, 6 percent coal and the remainder in purchased power. The cost of fuel is currently about one-fifth of a residential customer’s bill. Fuel costs are passed through from fuel suppliers to our customers with no markup or profit to Tampa Electric. 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.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 780,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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