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TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- On Monday, Florida's Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to continue Tampa Electric Company's (TECO) rate petition hearing which begins today and is scheduled to go until Wednesday, Sept. 11.

On Friday, Aug. 30, TECO, the Office of Public Counsel (OPC), and other parties filed a Stipulation and Settlement Agreement on projected costs for fuel and other clauses with the commission.

Today's continuance allows commissioners time to review the agreement before considering it on Wednesday and also allows the evidentiary hearing on TECO's original petition to continue should the agreement be denied.

TECO filed its base rate increase petition with the PSC on April 5. The commission held customer service hearings in TECO's service territory in May to hear from the utility's customers.

If the PSC approves the requests as filed, residents could see their monthly bill rise by about 1 percent.The fuel and other cost adjustments would be in addition to Tampa Electric's requested base rate increase, which is pending before the PSC. Tampa Electric is seeking an increase of $10.41 a month -- or 35 cents a day -- for the average residential customer due to rising costs and sluggish growth.

The PSC is expected to vote on the fuel, conservation and environmental cost adjustments after a hearing scheduled to begin Nov. 4.

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