The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Tampa Electric Company's (TECO) request to turn its pilot green energy program into a permanent Renewable Energy Program. The voluntary program gives customers the option of purchasing blocks of energy produced from renewable sources rather than from fossil fuels.
TECO's pilot program, known as the Green Energy Rate Rider, began in 2000 and has grown to 1,422 participants who pay $5 for each 100 kwh block of renewable energy. Under the permanent Renewable Energy Program to begin in January 2007, customers will be able to purchase 200 kwh blocks of renewable energy for the same price, displacing energy that would otherwise have come from fossil fuels. The utility uses generators co-fired with biomass and also purchases solar, biomass, and land-fill gas produced electricity from other sources in the state.
"This program represents another step toward diversifying Florida's fuel mix," said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. "The Commission will continue to work to encourage viable alternatives to fossil fuels for Florida."
The Renewable Energy Program will be available to TECO's residential, commercial, and industrial customers and is expected to be self-sustaining. Tampa Electric Company serves approximately 635,000 customers in west-central Florida.