Tampa Electric filed a plan with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for new tariffs that, if approved, would go into effect in January 2022.
If the plan is approved, residential customers would see an increase of around 19 percent to $ 125.48 in 2022 with an average usage of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. Typical commercial and industrial customers would see an increase of about 13 to 17 percent.
Overall, Tampa Electric is targeting an initial increase of $ 295 million in 2022, with smaller, incremental additions to be made in subsequent years. In 2023 in particular, there is an additional adjustment of approximately $ 102 million to expand utility-scale solar power and complete Big Bend's modernization project. In 2024, $ 25.6 million will be adjusted to build new utility-scale solar energy. This would be partially offset by related fuel savings from ongoing and planned projects. In the long run, less fuel will be used due to the higher efficiency and the shift of power generation to solar.
Company employees indicate that despite the proposed rate increases, rates are still below the national average and will be among the lowest in Florida.
“To continue delivering the value our customers deserve, we need to plan for the long term and make investments now that will create a better energy future,” said Nancy Tower, CEO of Tampa Electric. “By modernizing and increasing the efficiency of our power plants and expanding solar energy, we are lowering fuel costs, improving the air quality in the region, lowering CO2 emissions and keeping customer bills more predictable over time. ”
The rate increase application covers several investments the company has made to improve service and reliability. Tampa Electric has increased green energy production by upgrading the Big Bend power plant and adding solar projects. In addition, the company has upgraded equipment to improve reliability, convenience, and reduce downtime. Since the company's last fall in 2013, Tampa Electric has improved reliability and efficiency. It has cut coal consumption by more than 90 percent, added a significant amount of solar energy, cut CO2 emissions in half, and improved overall customer satisfaction. Through these efforts, Tampa Electric has reduced customer bills by more than 3 percent over the past eight years.
The Commission is expected to take a decision by the end of this year.