Today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) began a legally mandated hearing expected to approve an average 11% rate decrease for Tampa Electric customers. The decrease is tied to volatile fracked gas prices and is required by law; once approved, it will go into effect January 1, 2024.
Meanwhile, since January 2019, the average Tampa Electric bill has increased 62%, driven by a reliance on costly fossil fuels, which the utility monopoly has pledged to maintain as their chief energy source for the next decade. By 2032, Tampa Electric says fracked gas will supply 78.1% of the utility’s total energy generation.
Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer Brooke Ward issued the following statement:
“Skyrocketing energy bills are hurting Floridians — Tampa Electric’s expected rate decrease is a mere drop in the bucket. So long as we are relying on dirty, polluting fracked gas in Florida, we will continue to see rising rates and rising seas. The Hillsborough County Commission, which represents almost 700,000 TECO customers, must take an active role in reducing our reliance on costly, volatile, dirty fossil fuels long term. We urge Chair Hagan to pass a comprehensive climate plan to move off fossil fuels, increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.”