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Tampa Electric, Other Parties Compromise On Customer Rates

Tampa Electric customers would see their monthly bills rise by an average of $5.67 in November under a proposed base-rate settlement reached today by the utility, the Office of Public Counsel, and other parties.

The proposed settlement calls for an initial revenue increase of $57.5 million on Nov. 1, or an increase of 5.5 percent a month for the average residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours, to $108.25 from the current $102.58. The settlement stems from Tampa Electric’s April request to adjust base rates.

“The proposed settlement represents a fair and constructive outcome. We are pleased to reach agreement with groups representing all our customers,” said John Ramil, TECO Energy president and CEO. “This settlement is comparable with other agreements recently reached in Florida, including return on equity and with the appropriate adjustments to revenue.

“Based on a sales forecast that more accurately reflects the current energy market and economic conditions, this agreement provides Tampa Electric the opportunity to effectively manage the business to earn its authorized return over the next four years,” Ramil said. “In addition, the agreement includes incremental revenues when the Polk combined-cycle conversion project enters commercial operation, which provides longer-term certainty to Tampa Electric’s earnings growth.”

The compromise includes additional increases of $7.5 million and $5 million on Nov. 1 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and a $110 million increase when the expansion of the Polk Power Station is complete, expected in January 2017, under the proposed Generating Base Rate Adjustment (GBRA).

“We appreciate the spirit of cooperation among the groups who worked diligently to reach a constructive resolution for all Tampa Electric customers,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “This settlement would eliminate the need for the lengthy hearing – which was scheduled to begin Monday – and it would provide closure and clarity to the complex regulatory process.”

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