Tampa Electric seeks to adjust energy bills; would remain among state’s lowest
Bills still lower than 2018 and would remain significantly below national average
TAMPA, January 15, 2019
Due to changes in the prices of natural gas and expected power purchases, Tampa Electric has requested an increase to customer bills starting in April. Even with this increase, the average residential bill would be approximately 4 percent lower than last year and would remain among the lowest in Florida.
The company today filed updated projected costs for fuel and capacity charges with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). If the PSC approves the requests as filed, the average residential customer's monthly energy bill would increase by about 4 percent, or $4.05, to $103.58 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of usage. That's about the same as bills were in 2013 and about 4 percent lower than 2018.
Utilities adjust their fuel and capacity costs annually, typically in January. However, when costs are expected to change more than 10 percent, utilities can request an additional adjustment. Expected natural gas prices have increased since Tampa Electric submitted its projected 2019 costs in late August 2018. Capacity costs for purchased power are decreasing and will include a small credit on the bill.
The PSC is expected to vote on the proposal in early March. If approved as filed, Tampa Electric residential customers' bills would continue to be among the lowest in Florida and would be about 19 percent below the national average. According to October 2018 data from the Energy Information Administration, the national average of residential electric bills is $128.70 per month.
"Tampa Electric is proud to have some of the lowest rates in Florida, as we continue to provide outstanding value to our customers," said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. "Our commitment to a diverse fuel mix helps us keep costs down for our customers and helps us deliver the reliable energy they count on every day."
Tampa Electric's fuel mix includes natural gas, coal and solar. The cost of fuel is currently about one-fourth 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, serves about 750,000 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.