Tampa power company giving $24M back


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Tuesday that a Tampa electric company has agreed to issue a one-time refund to customers as part of a $24 million settlement.

The deal with Tampa Electric Company resolves all ongoing issues relating to a graduated increase in 2009 that was granted to the company by the Florida Public Service Commission.

"Floridians are struggling because of the current economy, and this agreement will provide some relief to Tampa Electric Company customers," McCollum said.

Tampa Electric requested a rate increase from the PSC in 2008 that would be used to pay the increasing costs of building rail coal uploading facilities and five simple cycle combustion turbines at the company's Big Bend Station.

A year later, the utility was granted a rate increase to partially fund these plant upgrades with more money promised if the turbines were in service by January 1 of this year.

McCollum and other consumer and business groups objected to the rate, calling PSC's grant approval prior to the completion of the turbines premature.

The agreement also calls for the dismissal of an appeal pending before the Florida Supreme Court filed by McConnell, the Public Counsel, the Florida Retail Federation, and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group.

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