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News Release

Beware of energy vampires this Halloween: unplug unused appliances

TAMPA, October 16, 2012

As boogeymen and ghosts invade your neighborhood later this month, you may want to be extra careful to watch for goblins that may already be lurking inside your house – vampires.

Energy vampires are electronics and appliances that constantly use electricity, even when they are not actively being used, such as cell-phone chargers or cable TV boxes. The phantom load created by energy vampires can add up to 10 percent to the average electricity bill, according to national estimates.

But don’t fear. October is National Energy Awareness Month, and Tampa Electric wants to remind our customers that with a little common sense – and maybe some garlic – you can drive a stake through the heart of energy vampires and save a few dollars on your power bill:

  • Plug digital video recorders (DVRs) or cable set-top boxes into a power strip – and turn the strip off when they are not in use. (Annual savings = $51)
  • Screen savers are not “green” savers. Turn off your computers and printer if you won’t be using them in the next two hours. (Annual savings = $23)
  • Cell phone chargers use energy, even when not charging a phone. Unplug them and other appliances, like microwave ovens and stereos, when not in use. (Annual savings = $20)

Tampa Electric offers free home energy audits to review other tricks and treats to save money on your power bills. Schedule your audit by calling 813-275-3909.

Tampa Electric offers about 40 energy-saving programs to residential and commercial customers – more programs than any other investor-owned utility in Florida. Tampa Electric has performed more than 416,500 free energy audits – and paid almost 426,000 rebates to customers who have participated in the company’s energy-efficiency programs. That’s about as much electricity as it takes to serve 780,000 homes for a year.

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves nearly 676,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.

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TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
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