Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa Electric rate notice confuses some customers

Exactly how would the proposed Tampa Electric rate increase affect bills?

Don't depend on the utility's recent customer notice about the rate hike to help figure it out.

Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, sought to inform its customers over the last few weeks about its request for a 10 percent rate increase. It turns out that some of the rates listed in the notice did not match customer bills, and the confusion began.

"I do realize we're not talking apples to apples here," said Sylvia Vega, a Tampa Electric spokeswoman. Vega said she informed the customer service call center about the differences in the bill and notice about the changes, in case customers called.

Tampa resident Mitch Thrower contacted the call center and came away all the more baffled.

"I called and they said what they're publishing in the notice isn't correct," Thrower said.

The notice does not give the full picture. It only gives the base rate and the proposed increase in the base rate. It excludes other fees, including fuel charges, conservation, environmental and capacity costs.

Here's what to look for on your bill and how to reconcile it with the notice to customers:

The residential energy charge listed on Tampa Electric bills is 5.583 cents per kilowatt hour. The amount listed in the notice of the proposed rate increase is 5.078 cents per kilowatt hour, which on the surface looks like a decrease.

But the 5.078 number does not include conservation, environmental and capacity costs, which are still being worked out. Once those costs are added in, the cost per kilowatt hour will be higher than 5.583 cents.

The proposed rate increase would raise the average residential bill by $11 a month per 1,000 kilowatt hours of usage. That would raise the average monthly bill to about $113 for 1,000 kilowatt hours. The rate had fallen from $106.90 per month in 2012 to $102.58 this year.

Vega said the information in the notice is correct, but it's just not "the whole story."

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2332.

Up next

The five members of the Public Service Commission will travel to Tampa May 29 for a public hearing regarding the proposed rate increase. The 6 p.m. hearing will be held at the Hillsborough Community College/Dale Mabry Campus Students Services Auditorium, DSTU Building Room 111, 4001 West Tampa Blvd., Tampa.

Tampa Electric rate notice confuses some customers 05/06/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 6, 2013 9:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

    Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is one of the main stops on Main Street in Safety Harbor. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  2. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Tampa's connected-vehicle program looking for volunteers

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Drivers on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway can save on their monthly toll bill by volunteering to test new technology that will warn them about potential crashes and traffic jams.

    A rendering shows how new technology available through the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority will warn driver's about crashes, traffic jams, speed decreases and more. THEA is seeking 1,600 volunteers to install the devices, which will display alerts in their review mirrors, as part of an 18-month connected-vehicle pilot.
  4. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at the White House on August 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. Two Virginia state police troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while covering events on the ground. [Getty Images]
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena to host job fair today

    Business

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning and its home, Amalie Arena, are hosting a part-time job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. today on the Promenade Level of the arena. Available positions include platinum services, parking attendants, event security, housekeeping, retail and many other departments.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena is hosting a part-time job fair on Thursday, Aug. 17 on the Promenade level of the arena.