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Florida regulators to seek customer input on proposed Tampa Electric rate hikes

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(The Center Square) — Florida regulators will hold meetings for ratepayers after one of the state’s largest investor-owned utilities requested a rate increase.

On April 2, the Tampa Electric Company filed an application with the Florida Public Service Commission requesting an increase to its base rate. The increase would allow the company to recover operating costs while providing a return for its investors.

Tampa Electric has a 2,000-square-mile service area and provides electricity to over 800,000 customers in Hillsborough County and portions of Polk, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.

The Office of the Public Counsel, an independent entity from the commission, disagrees with the rate increases and stated at a previous hearing with the commission that the utility was “not entitled” to raise rates beginning January 2025.

Tampa Electric’s last rate increase was in 2021, and according to the FPSC’s rate case overview, the company estimates that base rates will continue to increase yearly until at least 2027.

Currently, residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month pay an average monthly bill of around $136.44, which includes a base rate of $87.80.

If the base rate request is approved, it is estimated that as of January 2025, the same amount of electricity use will cost residential customers $153.90 per month, with the base rate increasing to $107.01.

Fast-forward to January 2026, and the average monthly bill will cost $160.73 for 1,000 kWh, including a base rate increase of $113.67. By January 2027, estimates expect that base rates will reach $118.15, for a total cost of $165.32 per month.

Customers on the higher end of electricity use, who use more than 3,000 kWh per month, could see their monthly base rates jump from $243.84 in June 2024 to $303.65 by January 2027. This would increase the total monthly bill from an average of $409.77 to $464.38 in that time period.

The FPSC will hold in-person and virtual public hearings starting on June 10 and ending on June 13. This will allow customers to give feedback to the commission about Tampa Electric’s quality of service and the rate-setting process. The OPC will represent customers who wish to provide feedback.

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