TECO Energy expects earnings per share in 2013 to be in a range between $0.90 and $1.00, excluding any unusual charges and gains. TECO Energy expects earnings in 2013 to be driven by the factors discussed below.
Tampa Electric has experienced steady growth in the number of new customers since the fourth quarter of 2009, and customer growth in 2012 increased from 1.0% in the first quarter to 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Customer growth of 1.2% is anticipated in 2013, but total retail energy sales growth is expected to be lower than customer growth due to lower average customer usage. Sales to the lower margin industrial-phosphate customers are expected to be lower in 2013 due to increased self-generation following outages of customers’ generating equipment that increased sales to these customers in 2012. After three years of virtually unchanged operations and maintenance expense, those costs are expected to increase in 2013 due to increased expenses to operate the system and reliably serve customers and higher employee-related expenses, including pension expense driven by discount rate assumptions in the current low interest rate environment. In 2013, Tampa Electric expects to earn below the bottom of its allowed return on equity (ROE) range of 10.25% to 12.25%.
As a result of the increasing pressure on operations and maintenance expense, higher depreciation expense from investment in infrastructure required to serve customers, and the economic recovery that has been slower than expected compared to the assumptions in Tampa Electric’s last base rate proceeding, on Feb. 4, 2013, Tampa Electric notified the FPSC that it is planning to file a new base rate proceeding in April for new rates effective in early 2014. The actual revenue requirement calculation is not final, but is estimated to be approximately $135 million.
Peoples Gas expects to continue to earn above the middle of its allowed ROE range of 9.75% to 11.75% from moderate customer growth, which is expected to continue in 2013 in line with the trends experienced in 2012, and continued focus on cost management. It also expects to benefit from continued interest from customers utilizing petroleum and other fuel sources to convert to natural gas due to the attractive economics.