News Release

Natural Gas Prices Push Tampa Electric to Adjust Electric Bills

Bills would remain significantly below national average and among lowest in Florida

TAMPA, July 19, 2021

Due to changes in the prices of natural gas and expected power purchases, Tampa Electric has requested an increase to customer bills from September through the end of the year. Even with this increase, the typical residential bill would remain among the lowest in Florida and significantly below the national average.

The company today filed updated projected costs for fuel and capacity charges with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). If the PSC approves the requests as filed, the typical residential customer’s monthly energy bill would increase by about 12 percent, or $12.82, to $118.07 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of use from the current $105.25. Commercial and industrial customers would see an increase between 10 percent and 15 percent, depending on usage. This increase would be effective for the four-month period from September to December.

For Florida utilities, fuel costs are passed from fuel suppliers directly to our customers without any markup or profit by the utility. Utilities adjust their fuel and capacity costs annually, typically in January. However, when costs are expected to change by more than 10 percent, utilities can request an additional adjustment. In 2020 when natural gas prices fell, Tampa Electric proposed an adjustment that resulted in reduced bills for several months. This year, with natural gas prices increasing by nearly 30 percent since Tampa Electric submitted its projected 2021 costs almost a year ago, it is the reverse. 

The company has requested the PSC vote on the proposal on Aug. 3. If approved as filed, Tampa Electric residential customers’ bills would continue to be among the lowest in Florida and would be well below the national average. According to April 2021 data from the Energy Information Administration, the national average of residential electric bills is $137.60 per month. 

Tampa Electric’s fuel mix includes about 85 percent natural gas, about 7.5 percent solar, and about 7.5 percent coal. With the proposed increase, the cost of fuel will be about one-third of a residential customer’s bill. Tampa Electric deploys a variety of strategies to manage fuel costs, including optimizing the use of its generating fleet to consume fuel as efficiently as possible and purchasing power from other companies if it results in a lower cost for customers. The company also is very committed to clean energy, which not only allows Tampa Electric to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but also reduces the fuel cost customers must pay.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 800,000 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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