TAMPA, Fla. — Residents in Tampa could see a slight rise in their utility bill as the company filed a request to seek uncollected fuel costs from 2022 including Hurricanes Ian and Nicole restoration efforts.
TECO made the filing on Monday, Jan. 23, with the Florida Public Service Commission citing that the extremely unpredictable price of natural gas resulted in home energy costs "reaching near 10-year highs in the United States."
"Although TECO paid fuel and storm expenses upfront, Tampa Electric waited until early this year to make this request, to help mitigate the costs, as natural gas prices dropped and began to stabilize," TECO said in a news release.
This price increase would be the second of two steps. TECO chose to phase the increases to "ease the transition." Additionally, to reduce the impact on customers, the company requested fuel costs be spread over 21 months, through the end of 2024. Storm costs would also be spread over 12 months.
Should Florida Public Service Commission approve the request field, the average residential customer's monthly energy bill would increase by about 10 percent, TECO says, or by $14.66. It would take a bill to $161.38 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of use from the $146.72 customers currently pay. Commercial and industrial customers would see a 5 to 10 percent increase, depending on usage.
The Public Service Commission is expected to vote on the request on March 7 and bills would adjust in April.
"Even with the change, the typical residential bill would remain among the lowest in Florida," TECO reports.
"We work 365 days a year to lessen the impact of severe weather and other unknowns – such as rising global fuel prices – on our customers, " president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric, Archie Collins, said. "In this case, one of the best ways to ease the impact is to spread these costs over a longer time frame."