Tampa Electric to reduce rates a second time in 2024

Published on April 05, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

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Tampa Electric is reducing energy bills for the second time this year.

Back in January, the company reduced residential bills by about 11 percent because of a decline in fuel prices, among other factors. Now, the utility is asking the Florida Public Service Commission to reduce energy bills by another 5 percent on average. This further reduction is based on continued low natural gas prices.

Utilities modify their fuel costs annually, typically in January, and can adjust them at other times if costs change significantly. Natural gas prices have declined in the past year – and stayed low, thus the second reduction.

Residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month would see a reduction of about $7 a month. Overall, the reductions could save customers nearly $25 a month for the rest of the year. The PSC is expected to vote on the request on May 7, and the reduction would begin in June.

Tampa Electric also filed a rate case request with the commission for January 2025. It is seeking an initial increase of $296.6 million in 2025. However, because other portions of the bill are expected to drop, the base-rate adjustment would have only a modest net impact on customer bills.

If approved as filed for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of use, a residential customer’s total bill in January 2025 would be 3 percent higher than today, or an increase of about $5, to $148.15 a month. Still, residential rates would remain one of the lowest in Florida, below the national average and lower than in 2023.

“We are fortunate to serve such a fast-growing region of the country,” Archie Collins, president and CEO of Tampa Electric, said. “As the demands on the electrical grid are changing rapidly, our job is to prepare for the future in a manner that is seamless for customers. We are committed to making meaningful investments that help us to keep up with growth, increase power plant efficiency and reduce outages. This rate request will allow us to continue delivering the value that our customers expect, while keeping rates as low as possible.”

Filing the request for a rate adjustment is an early step in a lengthy regulatory process. Customers will have the opportunity to share their opinions through various hearings, both virtually and in-person. The PSC is expected to decide on the request toward the end of the year. The new rates would take effect in January of 2025.

Tampa Electric serves about 840,000 customers in West Central Florida. It is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.