Tampa, Fla., May 17, 2010 – Tampa Electric’s Energy Planner, a residential energy-saving program, signed up its 1,000th customer.
Approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in August 2007, Energy Planner – a price-responsive load management program offered by only two electric utilities in the Southeast – enables customers to program how much certain appliances operate based on how they choose to balance comfort and energy savings.
With Energy Planner, residential customers living in single-family homes receive multi-tiered electricity rates based on the time of day and season. Customers then can choose to alter their energy consumption based on price.
Currently, Energy Planner is available only for single-family homes with a landline. Tampa Electric technicians are testing equipment that will eventually allow Energy Planner to be installed on multi-family, mobile and manufactured homes.
The program targets a home’s biggest energy users: central heating and cooling systems, electric water heaters and pool pumps. Tampa Electric installs an advanced programmable thermostat at no cost to customers, who also pay nothing to participate in the program. In addition, participating customers receive a free Home Energy Audit and free energy-saving light bulbs.
Launched as a pilot program in 2005, Energy Planner started with 250 customers. Current program customers are averaging 8 percent to 10 percent annual savings on their electricity costs, or nearly a month’s worth of electricity based on average usage. The company expects to have 1,700 Energy Planner customers by the end of 2010.
“Energy Planner is one of the first energy-efficiency programs offered by Tampa Electric that allows customers to take control over their energy usage through an advanced thermostat,” said Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric Co. president.
Tampa Electric began its conservation initiatives in the late 1970s, prior to any federal or state energy conservation requirements. From 1979 through 2009, almost 400,000 customers have participated in Tampa Electric’s conservation programs — offsetting the need to generate enough electricity to serve more than 683,500 average-size homes over a 12-month period.
“Tampa Electric understands that our customers are becoming increasingly aware of their energy costs and our goal is to provide them with the resources and tools to effectively manage their energy use,” Gillette said.
Tampa Electric Co. is the principal unit of TECO Energy Inc., an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses.
Tampa Electric is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in coal, and electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.