Customers of TECO Energy's Tampa Electric can expect the average monthly utility bill to drop 12 cents to $106.90 starting Jan. 1, the result of a reduction in the costs of fuel used to generate electricity.
Though the decrease in utility bills will be small, the company noted that residential customers will pay 8 percent less than the national average in 2012.
"Any decrease is a move in the right direction, and Tampa Electric is happy to give our customers the fourth consecutive reduction in fuel costs in the past three years," Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric, said in a statement. "After adjusting for inflation, Tampa Electric customers will be paying bills that are 17 percent lower than 20 years ago — compared to other staples, such as gasoline and bread, which have risen 99 percent and 21 percent, respectively, during that time."
The news comes as the Tampa power company reported third-quarter earnings that almost doubled over the same period a year ago. TECO reported net income of $90.2 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to $51.0 million, or 24 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2010.