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Tampa commercial electricity rates to drop in 2015

In good news for local businesses, Tampa Electric will lower its commercial rates beginning Jan. 1. The Tampa Bay Times reports that businesses will pay 1.7 percent less for the utility, slightly relieving budgets and potentially boosting or stabilizing profit margins. 

The news comes as regulators also approve requests to lower residential and industrial electric rates. Residential customers will pay an average of $1.14 less per 1,000 kilowatt-hour, while industrial entities will enjoy a 3 percent decrease in electricity costs. The change comes as a result of lower production expenses, and a decline in the price of fuel to generate electricity. Tampa Electric requested the adjustment and the Public Service Commission approved it. 

The power company approached the commission after finding that based on the first six months of the year, total coal and natural gas costs in 2014 are projected to fall $13 million below original estimates. The utility service expects to sustain the trend into the new year.

"Tampa Electric provides outstanding value to our customers every day for about the cost of a gallon of gasoline," said Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric's president. "We are proud that our rates are among the lowest in Florida and well below the national average."

Residential customers in Tampa enjoy electric rates 12 percent lower than the national average, according to the Energy Information Administration, impressive in a city where air conditioning alone can eat away at resources year-round. Those savings will carry over to the private sector, as companies make budgetary projections for 2015.

Companies in the area can look forward to another year of doing business in a city where regulators, utility providers and customers value maximizing efficiency to promote economic growth. 

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