TECO seeks rate increase for 2014 - WFLA News Channel 8

TECO seeks rate increase for 2014

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Electric Company residential customers may feel a pinch in their wallet in 2014.  TECO informed the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) that it plans to request a 10% increase from its residential customers.  The utility is seeking about $135 million, or an increase of about $11 a month (35 cents per day) from the average residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month.

If the PSC approves the rate hike as is, residents would see a 10% increase in their monthly bill to about $113 a month.  Despite the proposed increase, TECO customers will still be paying less than they did six years ago.  Additionally, the average residential bill would stay 5 percent less than the national average of $118.70 (as of September 2012). 

"There is never a good time to raise rates, and we empathize with our customers who are also feeling the effects of a difficult economy.  The pace of the economic recovery has not been what anyone predicted," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric.  "We have worked diligently to keep costs low, but costs continue to outpace growth."

TECO requested a rate increase in 2008.  Since then, the company claims to have improved reliability in its services citing that TECO customers have had the fewest--and among the shortest--interruptions among Florida's investor-owned utilities.  The utility also has invested in several projects including a reclaimed water pipeline serving the Polk Power Station, Big Bend solid-fuel handling equipment, and transmission expansion and improvements.

TECO plans to file its proposed rate increase with the PSC in April.  The PSC expects to conduct hearings to vote on the issue by year's end.  If approved, the rates will take effect in 2014.

 

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