Florida Approves Latest Rate Hike for TECO Customers, Raising Energy Bills 62% Since 2019

Continued reliance on fossil fuels is gouging customers, while TECO’s parent company more than doubled profits over the same period

Published Mar 7, 2023

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Climate and Energy

Continued reliance on fossil fuels is gouging customers, while TECO’s parent company more than doubled profits over the same period

Continued reliance on fossil fuels is gouging customers, while TECO’s parent company more than doubled profits over the same period

Today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved two new rate hikes for TECO customers: a 8.5% mid-course fuel correction fuel charge increase due to the volatile costs of fossil fuels, and recovery of nearly $131 million dollars of storm costs from a cited seven storms in 2022, even though only two impacted the utility’s service area. TECO customers can expect 9.8% higher energy bills beginning in April. 

Between January 2019 and April 2023, the average TECO customer’s bill will go from $99.53 to $161.13 — a 62% increase in just over four years. At the same time, TECO’s parent company, Canada-based Emera Incorporated, reported a 150% profit increase from 2019 through 2022, raking in $483 million in 2022.

Florida’s continued reliance on volatile fossil fuels is costing Floridians dearly. In 2021, 74% of the state’s electricity was generated using fracked gas — the fourth highest reliance on the fossil fuel of any state. TECO is doubling down on fossil fuel investments like the Big Bend fracked gas plant conversion, which will cost customers an estimated net $153 million, passing the buck of increasingly high fossil fuel costs and their dirty infrastructure onto ratepayers. All told, Florida’s residents and businesses statewide will have paid over $5 billion since 2021 to offset the rising costs of fossil fuels.

In response, Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer Brooke Ward issued the following statement:

“Florida’s stubborn reliance on fossil fuels is gouging residents and businesses, as Floridians pay through the nose to keep our corporate utilities profitable at any cost. As our energy bills rise, so too does the sea level and our climate emissions. We need less fracked gas not more — Floridians can’t keep footing the bill for more costly fossil fuel infrastructure.

“Rising rates are only the latest symptom of our fossil fuel-dominated system that privileges corporations over communities and climate. In Tampa Bay, our local governments have passed bold resolutions to keep fossil fuels out of our communities and push back against TECO’s profiteering — it’s time for the Hillsborough County Commission to follow suit.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

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Press Contact: Phoebe Galt [email protected]

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