TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With the utility pointing to lower-than-expected costs for natural gas, customers of Tampa Electric Co. likely will see their electric bills reduced in June.
The utility, which has about 780,000 customers in Tampa and nearby areas, filed a petition Wednesday at the Florida Public Service Commission that calls for reducing the costs passed on to customers for power-plant fuel.
Each year, utilities project their fuel costs, with those projected expenses then passed along to customers in the subsequent year. But the filing Wednesday pointed to a nearly $131 million “over-recovery” expected this year.
“The primary cause of the over-recovery is a significant decrease in the projected cost of natural gas,” the petition said.
The utility asked the Public Service Commission, which typically approves such fuel-cost changes, to consider the issue during a May 5 meeting, with the reductions taking effect in June.
Part of the proposal would give large savings to customers from June through August and then smaller savings through the rest of the year. That would be done by giving customers credits on their bills from June through August for over-recovered amounts.
The savings during the rest of the year would reflect the remaining projected lower fuel costs.
The filing said such a proposal could help provide bigger savings this summer as customers struggle with the effects of the coronavirus.
“Tampa Electric hopes to aid customers during this unique time in our history, given the pandemic, by returning the over-recovery amount more quickly than would typically be done” the filing said.