Utility is positioned to deliver smarter, cleaner energy solutions to 800,000 customers in West Central Florida
TAMPA, August 6, 2021
Tampa Electric is pleased to announce that a settlement agreement for its rate request was filed this morning with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). A decision from the PSC is expected later this year.
The settlement agreement was reached among Tampa Electric and the consumer parties – including the Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Florida Executive Agencies, Florida Retail Federation, Walmart and the West Central Florida Hospital Utility Alliance.
“This settlement further cements the transformation that is occurring at Tampa Electric, and it represents a fair and amicable resolution to our request for increased rates,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “At Tampa Electric, we are focused on creating value for customers – adding more clean solar energy, reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs, modernizing our infrastructure for a smarter tomorrow, improving reliability, increasing resiliency in the face of climate change and improving customer service.
“We appreciate the spirit of cooperation among the groups who worked diligently to reach an agreement that will bring tremendous value to Tampa Electric customers in the coming years,” Collins said.
Tampa Electric originally requested approximately $423 million in additional base rate revenue over the three years plus a separate asset recovery of $29 million. The settlement for $302 million in increased revenue over three years was reached among Tampa Electric and all intervening consumer parties. The key elements of the agreement will support long-term plans that benefit Tampa Electric customers:
• An increase of cleaner, greener power with the construction of an additional 600 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in 2021, 2022 and 2023. This will bring Tampa Electric’s total solar energy to 1,255 MW – enough to power a total of 200,000 homes by 2023. Long term, less fuel will be consumed due to shifting more power generation to renewable, and greenhouse gases will be reduced. • The modernization of Big Bend Power Station, which includes the retirement of three coal-burning generating units at Big Bend. This is consistent with Tampa Electric’s ambitions of being cleaner and greener – and reducing its reliance on coal. • Building smarter energy infrastructure and upgrading equipment to improve reliability and convenience, keeping pace with the demands and expectations of customers in one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. • A more modern grid that includes smart meters, which offer advanced communication and control capabilities - allowing for faster outage detection and restoration. • Making it easier to do business with the company by upgrading websites and portals, as well as other digital improvements that will give customers more convenience and choice. • Expanding the number of customers eligible for neighborhood weatherization improvements and energy-efficiency kits.
If approved as filed, the typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours will see their bill rise to $120.46 beginning Jan. 1. This is a 14 percent increase from the $105.25 customers pay today, or a 2 percent increase after the upcoming temporary fuel adjustment, which will begin in September. Despite this increase, bills will remain significantly below the national average and among the lowest in Florida.
Since the company’s last rate case in 2013, Tampa Electric has improved reliability, improved the efficiency of its generating fleet to reduce fuel costs, and improved overall customer satisfaction. The company is currently Florida’s top producer of solar energy per customer. These efforts have helped to reduce customer bills by more than 3 percent over the past eight years.
Tampa Electric understands some customers are experiencing financial hardship and wants to help. The company partners with many community agencies to offer programs that support customers in need and offers flexible payment arrangements. More information on resources and programs can be found at tampaelectric.com/updates. It also provides more energy-saving programs than any other utility in the state to help customers manage energy costs. Customers can learn more and sign up at tampaelectric.com/save (residential) and tampaelectric.com/bizsave (business). A variety of appliance calculators also are available online to help customers pinpoint opportunities for savings.
The agreement ends the formal rate request process that the company began earlier this year. Customer service hearings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday will proceed as planned.
Settling the case before the technical hearing, scheduled for October, avoids additional time and expense, and establishes price certainty for the next three years. Tampa Electric cannot change its base rates again until 2025, except under certain very limited conditions.
Tampa Electric 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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Tampa Electric is an Emera company.
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