TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Electric Company filed a request to the Florida Public Service Commission in April asking for an increase in their base rates, according to a release from the PSC. Based on estimates provided by the Commission, your bill could go up about $25, based on how much power you use.
According to documents released by PSC for public view, the following usage and rate changes would take effect in 2022, should the proposal pass:
|Usage in kWh||Rate as of May 1, 2021||Estimated rate as of Jan. 1, 2022||Approximate Rate Change|
Based on estimated rate changes year over year, should the request be approved by PSC, rates would go up roughly 16.7%, based on usage, when averaged. Customers who use more power would see a lower percent increase in their rates, based on the estimated rates provided by PSC in their public announcement for the public hearings.
A public hearing period beginning on Aug. 9 will allow customers to weigh in on the proposed increases. In filings with the Commission, TECO says the base rate increase is requested to pay for operational costs. Currently the company says they employ 2,400 workers.
TECO serves a 2,000 square mile territory, according to documents filed by the company with the PSC in February 2021. Its service area includes Hillsborough County and portions of Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties. The last time a TECO rate increase was approved was in 2017.
There will be three hearings for customers to virtually comment on the rate request and quality of services. The PSC says the customer input will be taken into account when they decide whether or not to allow the proposed rate increase. If the increase passes, customers will have higher bills starting in January 2022.
Hearings will be held on the following dates and times:
- August 9 at 2 p.m.
- August 9 at 6 p.m. (a Spanish interpreter is available, but must be requested in advance)
- August 10 at 10 a.m.
For those interested in participating in the hearings, registration will be available on the Commission’s website. The deadline to sign up is noon, two business days before each hearing. If you’re unable to comment during the hearing, you can submit comments by email to the Commission’s clerk, or physical mail addressed to:
Florida Public Service Commission
Office of Commission Clerk
2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850
Now, TECO is asking for a base rate increase to “recover the cost of operating the utility” and to let the company earn what is described by PSC as “a fair rate of return on its investment.”
Rates are determined on four factors, described in documents from PSC as base rate charges, fuel charge, other charges and gross receipts tax. The other charges noted on the document include energy conservation cost recovery charges, capacity charges, environmental cost recovery charges and storm protection charges.
Documents submitted to PSC by TECO say that the company serves close to 1 million customers, up 14% since 2013. The same filing says company investments have grown to $6.7 billion, from $4 billion in 2013. By 2022, the company said their expected investments will total $7.9 billion, and their base revenues reached $1.2 billion in 2020, a 33% growth from 2013.
Additionally, TECO says their fuel expenses had declined by almost 40% from 2014 to 2020, going from $700 million to $425 million thanks to construction of solar generation and use of expanded dual-fuel capabilities at their power plants, including natural gas fired combined cycle technology.