Power and natural gas are commodities businesses need to function. But when they come from TECO companies, they’re coming from community partners committed to an economic future where everyone can thrive and grow. Both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas are owned and operated by TECO Energy, a subsidiary of Emera Inc. For more than a century, TECO has provided safe, reliable and cost-effective service to customers in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida.
Like all regulated utilities in Florida, TECO’s rates and charges are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). Despite increases in base rates and service charges, Tampa Electric bills are the second lowest among Florida investor-owned utilities and Peoples Gas are the lowest in Florida.
Tampa Electric’s three power plants, Bayside Power Station, Big Bend Power Station, and Polk Power Station, generate nearly 4,700 megawatts (MW) of electricity to serve customers throughout the region. Bayside Power Station and Big Bend Power Station are located within Hillsborough County. Due to the investments Tampa Electric has made in its power stations, the company has been recognized as one of the cleanest electricity companies in the country.
Tampa Electric has been aggressive in bringing solar energy to the Sunshine State. At the company’s Big Bend Station, the company is building the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area. The 23-megawatt (MW) facility will feature more than 200,000 thin-film solar panels on 106 acres of company-owned land with the capacity to power nearly 3,300 homes.
The Big Bend installation is the third large-scale solar project for Tampa Electric since 2015. The first, a 2-MW facility on the top floor of Tampa International Airport’s south economy parking garage, produces enough electricity to power up to 250 homes. Earlier this month, construction began on Tampa Electric’s 1.8-MW solar facility at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort; it is scheduled to be complete this year.
Tampa Electric has invested more than $50 million in large-scale solar installations. Since 2000, customers have been able to voluntarily purchase renewable energy from the company’s other solar arrays at LEGOLAND Florida, the Florida Aquarium, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center and two schools.
There are energy efficiency programs in place at Tampa Electric to help the company and the region find a balance between electricity demands, affordable rates, and protecting the environment. Tampa Electric’s professionally certified energy analysts stand ready to provide local businesses with free energy audits at their facilities. From there, businesses can learn about the rebates and incentive programs available to them.
Tampa Electric also has a specific team dedicated to economic development that can help businesses looking to relocate or expand in Tampa and Hillsborough County. Tampa Electric offers services such as site and facility evaluation for location of electrical service and equipment, determining an optimal electrical rate schedule, and customized outdoor lighting design.
In addition to Tampa Electric, businesses can turn to Peoples Gas for natural gas needs. Advantages of using natural gas include quicker water heating and more precise control range as well as environmentally friendly furnace and space heating.