Revised rates would help utility continue to serve Floridians with safe, resilient natural gas and meet evolving customer expectations
Today, TECO Peoples Gas filed its formal notification with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) that it will be seeking a base rate adjustment, which would take effect in 2021. The company will submit more details about the proposed rate adjustment and impact to customer bills in April, however base rates will not increase this year.
“Clean, safe and reliable natural gas is fueling Florida’s future,” said T.J. Szelistowski, president of Peoples Gas. “As Florida grows and technology advances, we are growing and advancing too, and we are investing in our system to make life better for the more than 200 communities we serve.
Peoples Gas submitted its last request for a base rate adjustment in 2008. Since then, the company has invested significantly in its system, technologies and operations to ensure safety and reliability, while keeping rates stable. Some highlights include:
- Upgrading and strengthening its natural gas delivery system to enhance reliability and resiliency
- Installing a state-of-the-art Gas Control Center to monitor its system 24 hours a day
- Upgrading nearly 500 miles of aging and outdated pipe and extending natural gas pipelines by more than 2,700 miles to increase availability and access to natural gas across Florida
- Modernizing its billing and customer information system and implementing online customer account access and customer service offerings available 24/7 on any device
- Enhancing cybersecurity measures to secure and protect customer data
- Developing the innovative GasWorX training facility and deploying updated training curriculum to ensure its customers are served by a safe, skilled and knowledgeable workforce
- Voluntarily reducing customer bills in 2019 with savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
“Our team has worked diligently over the last decade to improve the business while managing costs,” said Szelistowski. “While it is never an easy decision to seek a rate adjustment, the combination of evolving customer expectations and technology, increased operations requirements and inflation indicate it is time for us to update our rates so that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers today and in the future.”
People Gas’ base rates are used to cover the cost to deliver natural gas from its source to serve customers, including the construction, operations and maintenance of its system. The portion of a customer’s bill covering the cost of natural gas – typically the largest component of a bill – is not part of this base rate adjustment. That charge, which can adjust monthly, is called the Purchased Gas Adjustment and is passed through to customers from natural gas suppliers and interstate pipelines and is monitored and approved by the PSC.
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, customer experience, environmental stewardship and reliable gas operations.
Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves about 400,000 customers across Florida. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.