“These are challenging times for everyone, and we know our customers are keenly aware of their energy bills and are looking for ways to save,” said Chuck Black, president of Tampa Electric. “With this goal, Tampa Electric remains committed to not only continuing its national prominence in the area of conservation but also to exploring new programs that can meet the needs of a growing, diverse customer base that maintains a greater consciousness of energy costs than ever before.”

Tampa Electric began promoting energy efficiency in the late 1970s, before any state legislation required electric utilities to engage in conservation activities. The company’s overall energy-efficiency and conservation efforts have reduced the need for more than three 180-megawatt power plants. The aggregate energy savings from all programs have been enough to power over 600,000 homes for one year.

Related to this effort, Tampa Electric has been expanding its renewable energy programs for residential and business customers. The company currently enables its customers to purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable sources, including for one-time events. In March, 2009 the company announced its intent to purchase the energy output from a proposed 25-megawatt solar facility to be constructed in Polk County, with production expected to begin in 2011. In 2008, Tampa Electric, along with the University of South Florida and Lowry Park Zoo announced plans to launch a new, two-part renewable energy project at the zoo that will generate 15 kilowatts (kW) of electricity for the electric grid and serve as an educational tool for students and the community.

The FPSC will rule on Tampa Electric’s energy efficiency goal proposal very soon. Implementation of programs will begin in early 2010.