After 12 Years, TECO Peoples Gas Files for Rate Adjustment to Take Effect Near the Beginning of 2021
Revised rates would help utility continue to serve Floridians with safe, resilient, clean natural gas and meet evolving customer expectations
TAMPA, June 8, 2020
After deferring its original filing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, today Peoples Gas filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) requesting a future increase in base rates that would likely take effect near the beginning of 2021. If approved, typical residential customers with annual consumption between 100 and 249 therms would see an increase of about $5 on their monthly bills, and typical commercial customers with annual consumption between 2,000 and 9,999 therms would see an increase of about $36 on their monthly bills. This is the utility’s first request for a base rate increase in 12 years.
“Fueling Florida’s future with clean, safe and reliable natural gas is our priority,” said T.J. Szelistowski, president of Peoples Gas. “Growth in the state, and advances in technology and in what our customers want and expect from us mean we must grow and advance too, so that we can continue to make life better for the more than 400,000 customers we serve.”
Since its last request for a base rate adjustment 12 years ago in 2008, Peoples Gas has invested significantly in its system, technologies and operations to ensure the safe delivery of clean and resilient natural gas, while keeping rates stable. However, in that time, there has been a significant increase in the cost of doing business. A combination of necessary infrastructure investment, cost of construction, evolving customer expectations, advances in technology, and increased operations requirements now causes Peoples Gas to seek rate relief.
Today’s petition filing begins the formal, several-month regulatory process for a utility to change the amount it charges customers. New rates, if approved, would take effect near the beginning of 2021.
This increase to base rates is associated with the cost to deliver natural gas from its source to serve customers, including the construction, operations and maintenance of the Peoples Gas system. This is not an increase to the price of natural gas, which has continued to be stable.
Peoples Gas has been delivering safe and reliable natural gas and high-quality customer service to Floridians for more than 120 years. Today, the company operates more than 18,000 miles of pipelines across the state. The company is advancing its business using the latest technologies and best practices in safety, award-winning customer experience and reliable gas operations. In terms of environmental stewardship, Peoples Gas has reduced carbon-equivalent emissions per mile of pipe by more than 38 percent since 2011, as a result of its multiyear project to replace aging and outdated pipe.
Peoples Gas takes pride in and has worked hard to provide customers with a world-class customer experience and has achieved incredible results, including ranking “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Midsize Residential Natural Gas Service in the South” seven years in a row and “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service in the South” for the third time in the 2019 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction studies. The company also was recognized by Escalent in 2019 as the “Most Trusted Utility” in the nation for the fifth consecutive year and a “Customer Champion” for the sixth year in a row. In 2020, Escalent designated Peoples Gas as an “Environmental Champion” for the sixth consecutive year and one of the nation’s “Easiest Utilities To Do Business With” for the second year in a row.
Peoples Gas is invested in its communities and customers, particularly those facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is proud to partner with non-profit organizations across Florida that are assisting the front lines in fighting the virus and helping people recover.
The company offers programs to support customers as well as flexible payment arrangements. It also provides opportunities for customers to qualify for cash-back rebates through conservation programs at peoplesgas.com/rebates and peoplesgas.com/bizrebates To help customers manage energy usage and spend, Peoples Gas launched an online energy audit at peoplesgas.com/onlineaudit this spring. A variety of appliance calculators also are available online to help customers pinpoint opportunities for savings.
Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves about 400,000 customers across the state. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.