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Tampa Electric bills to drop in January to reflect reduced cost of natural gas

Residential bills would remain among Florida’s lowest and well below national average

TAMPA, August 22, 2014

Thanks to lower natural gas prices, Tampa Electric customers could pay $1.22 less a month for electricity in January than they do today – even after an increase later this year.

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 drop by $1.22, to $108.39 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), about a 1 percent decrease from the current $109.61 a month. Commercial and industrial customers would see bills decrease by 1.7 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

“Tampa Electric continues to have some of the lowest rates in Florida,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “We are proud to provide outstanding value to our customers every day – for about the cost of a gallon of gasoline.”

In November, the average Tampa Electric residential customer bill will rise by 53 cents, as part of the 2013 rate settlement that is being phased in over three years. The January reduction for fuel and other clauses – of $1.75 – would more than offset that increase, ending with a net reduction of $1.22 a month for the average residential customer from what they pay today.

The PSC is expected to vote on the fuel and other clauses after a hearing scheduled to begin Oct. 22.

If the fuel request is approved as filed, Tampa Electric residential customers’ bills would remain more than 11 percent below the national average – which is $122.50 per month, according to May 2014 data from the Energy Information Administration.

The company estimates that by the end of 2014 it will spend $13 million less on fuel than originally projected. The fuel portion of the bill is based on costs for natural gas and coal during the first six months of 2014, projections for the remainder of 2014 and expected fuel prices in 2015.

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 , one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves almost 700,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utility operations in Florida through Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee 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.

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