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TECO volunteers lose power for a short time

Tampa Electric Co. temporarily cut power to more than 75,000 customers Monday afternoon in its first exercise this summer of the Prime Time Load Management Program, said TECO spokesman Mike Mahoney.

The cuts, which lasted from 4 to 9 p.m., affected only customers who volunteered to accept temporary interruptions to certain appliances during peak-demand hours in exchange for a monthly credit on their electric bill. Routine maintenance, not unusually high demand, was responsible for Monday's power reduction, Mahoney said.

Two of TECO's power plants were being checked over the weekend and remained out of service through Monday's peak usage hours. One plant returned to service Tuesday morning and barring record-setting heat, the company doesn't expect any more power interruptions, Mahoney said. The Prime Time Load Management Program rewards customers up to $19 per month for allowing TECO automatically to shut off water heaters, air-conditioners, heaters and swimming pool pumps when there is a need to reduce demand for electricity.

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