The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved, by a 4 to 1 vote, a settlement agreement that will provide a significant refund to Tampa Electric Company’s (TECO) retail customers.
The settlement, signed by TECO, the Office of Public Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, and the Florida Retail Federation, resolves all issues pending before the PSC regarding TECO’s $25.74 million step increase implemented in January. The settlement also resolves the issues on appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.
TECO will refund $24 million to its retail customers, in accordance with the settlement, as a one-time credit on customer bills. A residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh per month will receive a refund of approximately $18.50. Refunds will be applied only to active bills when they are issued in November.
Effective January 1, 2011, Interruptible Service (IS) customer rates will be reduced due to a revenue reduction of $1.28 million (included in the $24 million total refund) for that rate class. The IS rate class includes mostly industrial customers who voluntarily allow power interruptions during peak demand to receive lower rates. This will reduce TECO’s total step increase from $25.74 million in 2010 to $24.46 million in 2011 and subsequent years.
The final Commission decision in TECO’s rate case granted the company an increase of $114 million in rates and charges, effective in May 2009, with a proposed step increase that allowed the company another $25.74 million in 2010. The PSC’s approval of a step increase was designed to pay for five new gas generators and a new rail facility at TECO’s Big Bend plant in Tampa that were placed in service in the last quarter of 2009. Parties to the settlement contested the step increase and appealed the decision to the Florida Supreme Court. As part of the settlement, their pending appeal to the Court will be voluntarily dismissed.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.