The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved an Agreement that streamlines storm protection plan cost recovery for Tampa Electric Company (TECO). The Agreement reduces base rates for costs that TECO will propose to recover through the Storm Protection Plan (SPP) Cost Recovery Clause. Customer bills will not be affected by these Agreement provisions, and the 2020 Agreement also resolves and clarifies other TECO dockets before the Commission.
“When parties can agree to settle or simplify issues, it usually means less litigation and decreased costs. TECO’s Agreement does just that,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “It is always in the public interest when parties can negotiate outcomes that benefit everyone involved."
TECO’s Storm Protection Plan operation and maintenance expenses are currently recovered in its base rates. The Agreement establishes TECO’s intent to shift recovery of these costs to the SPP Cost Recovery Clause. The $15 million base rate reduction will keep O&M expenses neutral for customers and promote transparency to ensure these costs are recovered appropriately. O&M expenses include: Planned Distribution Vegetation Management, Planned Transmission Vegetation Management, Transmission Vegetation Management—Right of Way Maintenance, Infrastructure Inspections, Distribution and Transmission Wood Pole Inspections, and Transmission Asset Upgrades.
TECO’s Storm Protection Plan and costs to be recovered through the SPP Cost Recovery Clause will be reviewed separately by the Commission later this year. The base rate reduction and established charge for SPP costs will be effective in January 2021.
The 2020 Agreement established a series of stipulations that reduce the issues to be litigated in Docket Nos. 20200067-EI (Tampa Electric’s Storm Protection Plan) and 20200092-TP (Storm Protection Plan Cost Recovery Clause). The Commission’s approval today also resolved all issues in Docket No. 20200065 (Software Amortization Petition) and a potential issue about how to calculate the threshold for cost recovery in Docket No. 20200064-EI (Fourth Solar Base Rate Adjustment).
Signatories to the Agreement include TECO, the Office of Public Counsel—representing customers, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, the Florida Retail Federation, the Federal Executive Agencies, and the West Central Florida Hospital Utility Alliance.
TECO serves more than 750,000 customers in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.
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