Some power lines are more prone to outages than others, depending on several factors, including tree coverage, age of equipment, and wildlife activity. Through our Storm Protection Plan, we place lines underground, to decrease restoration times and costs during extreme weather.
We focus on the lines that can make the biggest improvement in reliability during extreme weather. We also will install stronger, more storm-resistant poles and improved technology along certain power lines. And we're making our substations more resilient by raising equipment and building flood walls in flood-prone areas.
About Our Storm Protection Plan FAQ
A. In recent years, extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, have left millions of Floridians without power and cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to restore it. Some customers have been without power for weeks after severe storms. That’s why legislators and regulators have been working with utilities to strengthen the state's electric grid and shorten power restoration times.
In 2019, the Florida Legislature passed a law that created our Storm Protection Plan (SPP). The law requires each public electric utility in Florida to file a 10-year SPP and update it every three years.
Tampa Electric's plan is designed to strengthen our electric system to better withstand extreme weather events. As a result, customers have fewer and shorter outages, and lower storm restoration costs after extreme weather events.
A. The plan includes:
- Converting certain overhead lines to underground, averaging 75 to 100 miles per year
- Trimming trees more frequently
- Replacing remaining wooden transmission poles with concrete or steel poles
- Making our substations more resilient by raising some equipment or building flood walls.
- Installing stronger, more storm-resistant poles and improved technology along certain power lines.
A. On average, Tampa Electric expects to invest about $100 million to $150 million a year in the plan. Initial years will have smaller investments as projects ramp up.
A. Costs related to SPP are included in the energy charges to all customers. In 2024, that charge is $6.58 per month for the average residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month. In future years, the additional charge for the SPP is expected to be less than $1 per month. By strengthening our system, we're able to restore power more quickly after a major storm, which should lower the total costs to customers in the long term. Even with these significant investments, Tampa Electric rates remain among the lowest in the state and significantly below the national average.
By strengthening our system, we're able to restore power more quickly after a major storm, which should lower the total costs to customers in the long term. Even with these significant investments, Tampa Electric rates remain among the lowest in the state and significantly below the national average.
A. There is no amount of improvements that can make an electric grid hurricane-proof. However, by strengthening the electric system, Tampa Electric's planned improvements should help reduce the number and length of power outages. The goal is for power restoration to be faster and less expensive for all our customers.
A. Both Tampa Electric and contract employees will work on these projects. Tampa Electric contractors carry identification badges and will gladly present their credentials to you upon request.