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03/05/2019 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida PSC Gives TECO Customers Opt-Out Option on Smart Meters

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) gave the okay to Tampa Electric Company (TECO) customers wanting a non-communicating meter instead of the company’s new Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) smart meter.

AMI smart meters transmit a home’s power usage back to the electric company’s headquarters and offer customers enhanced tools and information on managing their electric usage and billing. TECO customers are receiving AMI meter deployment logistics, as well as information to help them understand AMI technology. TECO anticipates that 0.2 percent—or 1,680—of its 810,000 customers plan to opt out of the smart meter initiative.

An initial enrollment cost of $96.27, along with a monthly fee of $20.64--which reflects a combination of IT and meter reading related cost--will be charged to customers who opt out of the smart meter initiative. The opt-out provision is expected to be implemented in the third quarter of 2019.

“Smart meters allow customers to track and manage their electric usage, which most customers appreciate,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham.  “However, if customers don’t want to upgrade to a smart meter, the opt-out option is available at a reasonable cost. This option protects customers from absorbing the costs of those choosing to opt-out.”

TECO’s AMI project will upgrade all meters in its service territory. The utility began installing AMI meters in January 2017 and plans to complete installations in 2021.  Following the AMI project’s completion, TECO is required to report the actual project costs, revenues, and participation within three months. 

The PSC approved similar opt-out tariffs and charges for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) in 2015 and Duke Energy Florida, LLC in 2018.

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