The utility’s bills to remain among the lowest in Florida and significantly below national average
TAMPA, November 3, 2020
The rising cost of natural gas will raise Tampa Electric customers’ bills in 2021.
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today unanimously approved costs for fuel and other clauses, to take effect next year. Bills will continue to remain well below the national average.
“In 2020, we passed along savings to customers by lowering bills, and those savings will continue as expected through December,” said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “It’s important to note that today’s approved adjustment will not take effect until January and is in line, and often lower, when compared to electricity prices in the past 10 years.”
Starting in January, the average Tampa Electric residential customer’s monthly energy bill will be $105.25 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of use, which is less than customers paid in 2018 and 20 percent below the national average. It will be an increase of about 8 percent, or $7.56 per month, compared to current bills, which were lowered in June. Commercial and industrial customers will see bills increase between 7 percent and 11 percent compared to current bills, depending on usage.
The pandemic initially caused reduced demand for natural gas, which drove prices to historical lows. As demand increases this winter and into 2021 due to an anticipated economic recovery, natural gas prices are expected to increase.
While the proposed increase is largely the result of rising natural gas prices, a portion of the impact is due to the Storm Protection Plan, which will increase the grid’s reliability during severe weather. It also includes the addition of a new utility-scale solar project that will come online in January. The cost of fuel is currently about one-fourth of a residential customer’s bill. Fuel costs are passed through from fuel suppliers to 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. 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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