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TECO chief explains competition's effects on utilities

A question and answer session with Girard F. Anderson

Earlier this fall, Tampa Electric Co. announced plans to reduce its work force by roughly 10 percent through voluntary early retirement packages, attrition and layoffs.

The reason: Tampa Electric, the core subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc., said it wanted to hold down electricity rates at a time when the utility industry is expected to become more competitive.

The goal is to build the company's competitive edge by lowering its operating expenses so that it doesn't have to raise prices to customers.

Times staff writer Alan Goldstein recently asked Girard F. Anderson of TECO Energy about the effects competition is having on the electric utility business. Anderson is the president and chief operating officer of TECO Energy. Excerpts: