Bills will remain significantly below national average and among lowest in Florida
TAMPA, August 3, 2021
The Florida Public Service Commission today unanimously approved Tampa Electric's request to temporarily raise customer bills for four months – from September through the end of the year – to cover unexpected cost increases for natural gas and purchased power.
A typical residential customer’s monthly energy bill will 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 will see an increase between 10 percent and 15 percent, depending on usage. With this increase, the cost of fuel will be about one-third of a residential customer’s bill.
Even with this increase, the typical residential bill will remain among the lowest in Florida and significantly below the national average. According to May 2021 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the national average of residential electric bills is $137.10 per month.
For Florida utilities, fuel costs are passed from fuel suppliers directly to 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 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.
Tampa Electric’s fuel mix includes about 85 percent natural gas, about 7.5 percent solar and about 7.5 percent coal. 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 committed to producing cleaner energy, which reduces the fuel costs that customers pay – and allows Tampa Electric to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
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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