TECO Energy reports a drop in earnings
TECO Energy, the parent company of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, reported Friday a steep drop in fourth-quarter earnings. "The weak Florida and national economies significantly slowed Florida's previously consistent growth," said Sherrill Hudson, chairman and chief executive. Tampa Electric's quarterly earnings fell slightly, and its annual net income fell nearly 10 percent as mild weather and a shrinking customer base led to a 2.8 percent decrease in electricity sales. Peoples Gas reported an increase in net income of 2.2 percent. The company hopes that rate increases sought for both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas will improve performance in 2009. Customers are already facing higher bills because of increases in fuel charges.