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Auburndale Residents' Electric Bills to Rise due to City's Increased Franchise Fee

TAMPA, December 30, 2014

Beginning Thursday, Tampa Electric bills for customers within the city of Auburndale will rise by about $1.50 a month due to an increase in the franchise fee by city government.

A franchise fee is collected from customers and paid directly to the city under a franchise agreement. A franchise agreement allows Tampa Electric to place equipment on city property, such as road rights of way. Tampa Electric makes no profit from franchise fees. In a recent decision, the city raised the fee to 6 percent from the equivalent of 3.6 percent.

The fee will add $3.25 to the bill of a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, but that increase will be countered by a drop in the cost of fuel in January. The total bill will only rise by $1.57. Customers who use more electricity will see a proportionately higher fee.

The higher fee will take effect Thursday.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida's largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves more than 700,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utilities in Florida and New Mexico, including Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas System and New Mexico Gas Co. Other TECO Energy subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

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