Tampa Electric files to adjust bills to reflect costs of fuel, other factors
Residential bills would remain among Florida’s lowest and below national average
TAMPA, August 30, 2013
Tampa Electric customers could see slightly higher bills beginning in January, primarily due to an annual adjustment to reflect the prices of fuel and other factors.
The company today filed projected costs for fuel and other clauses with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). If the PSC approves the requests as filed, a residential customer’s monthly bill would rise by $1.27 to $103.85 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), about a 1 percent rise from the current $102.58 a month. Commercial and industrial customers would see bills rise by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
“With one of the lowest rates in Florida, Tampa Electric is proud to serve you every day for less than the cost of a gallon of gas, while providing outstanding value to our customers,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric.
The PSC is expected to vote on the fuel, conservation and environmental cost adjustments after a hearing scheduled to begin Nov. 4.
The fuel and other cost adjustments would be in addition to Tampa Electric’s requested base rate increase, which is pending before the PSC. Tampa Electric is seeking an increase of $10.41 a month – or 35 cents a day – for the average residential customer due to rising costs and sluggish growth. Tampa Electric customers’ total monthly bills for 2014 will be determined in December, after the PSC has voted on both the fuel and base-rate adjustments.
Even if both requests are approved as filed, Tampa Electric residential customers’ bills would remain about 5 percent below the national average – which is $119.50 per month, according to June 2013 data from the Energy Information Administration.
The company estimates that by the end of 2013 it will spend $16 million less on fuel than originally projected. The fuel portion of the bill is based on actual costs for natural gas and coal during the first six months of 2013, projections for the remainder of 2013 and expected fuel prices in 2014. It also expects to reduce environmental expenses by storing gypsum on-site instead of sending it to a landfill.
Tampa Electric’s fuel mix is predominantly comprised of coal and natural gas. The cost of fuel is a substantial portion of an electric bill, currently about one-third of a residential customer’s bill. Fuel costs are passed through from fuel suppliers to our 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 and pass the savings to customers.
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 more than 687,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.
Note: This release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those forecasted. The forecasted information is based on the company’s current expectations and assumptions, and the company does not undertake to update that information or any other information contained in this release, except as may be required by law. Fuel prices are dependent on market conditions, and customer rates are dependent on many factors, including actions by the PSC. Additional information is contained under “Risk Factors” in TECO Energy, Inc.’s and Tampa Electric Company’s combined Annual Report on Form 10-K.