Make us your home page
Instagram

TECO posts unheard-of drop in utility customers

TAMPA — Tampa Electric lost more customers than it added in the third quarter, an unprecedented reversal that slashed the utility's profits and promises to delay power plant building.

"We've never seen this since I've been working at Tampa Electric," said Gordon Gillette, who has been with the company for 26 years and is vice president and chief financial officer of TECO Energy, the utility's parent.

Vacant and foreclosed homes turned out the lights, and fewer new customers replaced them, Gillette said. For the first time, the year-over-year quarterly growth was negative. The utility is hoping this quarter "hit bottom," and growth will return next year. But the days of 2 percent to 3 percent annual growth may not return until mid 2010, he said.

"A lot that got built, as we know now, turned out to be vacant properties, but they had electric meters," Gillette said. "We counted those properties as they were getting built as new customers. But guess what: Nobody moved in."

Another blow was cash-strapped customers cutting back on power use and mild weather depressing electricity sales. In all, quarterly energy sales dropped 6.7 percent, the utility reported. The utility's third quarter net income dropped by 22.5 percent from the year-ago quarter, falling to $50.6-million.

Peoples Gas likewise suffered a poor quarter. Quarterly net income dropped to $2.6-million from $3.8-million in the third quarter of 2007.

The numbers portend a similarly poor customer growth for Progress Energy Florida.

The St. Petersburg utility reports its third-quarter results today.

TECO Energy

The dismal Florida economy slashed revenue and income at TECO Energy, parent company of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. Tampa Electric lost customers, with disconnects outnumbering new customers. Industrial customers cut back production, and mild weather smothered household energy use.

3rd QtrYear Ago
Revenue$926.1M$990M
Net income$58.2M$92.8M
Per share, diluted27 cents44 cents

TECO posts unheard-of drop in utility customers 10/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]
  3. The Iron Yard coding academy to close in St. Petersburg

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Iron Yard, a code-writing academy with a location in downtown St. Petersburg, will close for good this summer.

    Instructors (from left) Mark Dewey, Jason Perry, and Gavin Stark greet the audience at The Iron Yard, 260 1st Ave. S, in St. Petersburg during "Demo Day" Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Iron Yard, which is an immersive code school that is part of a trend of trying to address the shortage of programmers.  The academy is closing this summer.  [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Florida's unemployment rate drops for fourth straight month

    Markets

    Unemployment in Florida hit a 10-year low in June, clocking in at 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent in May. The state added 19,400 jobs over the month, and saw growth in most industries. But there's one glaring missing piece to the economic recovery puzzle: wage growth.

    Florida's unemployment level dropped to 4.1 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. |  [Times file photo]
  5. Is sinkhole damage sinking Tampa Bay property values?

    Real Estate

    On a scale of desirability, the house for sale on Whittner Drive in Land O' Lakes would rank fairly low. It's a short sale; it sits on an unstabilized sinkhole and it's within a few miles of two houses that collapsed into a gargantuan hole July 14.

    A gated community in Hernando's Spring Hill area, Pristine Place has long been susceptible to sinkholes with nearly a third of its houses with documented sinkhole damage by 2012. Today, however, many houses with repaired sinkhole damage are selling for more than houses without any issues. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times file photo]