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Tampa is already paying some of the highest utility bills in the country. And TECO wants to raise them even more.

Since the start of the pandemic when nearly one million Floridians were at risk of losing power during quarantine because of an inability to pay, Florida Rising members and our partners have been fighting for affordable utilities and a transition to clean energy sources that protect our planet and human health. 

In 2023, our lawsuit against the state’s utility regulatory body, the Public Service Commission (PSC), forced them to revisit their decision to approve a higher rate of profit for Florida Power & Light, which resulted in increased bills for all of us. 

In January of 2024, dozens of Florida Rising members were ready to get on a bus to Tallahassee to address the state’s utility regulatory body when we got word that TECO got scared and withdrew their request to keep secret how they calculate our utility bills. 

Ms. Arlene, a Tampa Bay resident, was one of Florida Rising’s members that was ready to go to Tallahassee and address the PSC. 

“As a member of Florida Rising, winning against TECO helps me and my community a lot. Many of my friends are on fixed incomes, including some of my friends who have multiple jobs cannot afford this increase. Some of us end up sick because we have to choose between food, housing costs, and medicine. They think we’re all rich snowbirds. And we’ve worked our whole lives and it’s a shame we have to beg for charity. It’s time that they give us something back,” – Ms. Arlene.

Tampa Bay’s Regional Director Robin Lockett adds, “An energy rate hike is the last thing people need. This win shows when we organize, and use our collective voices, we win.” 

 

Together, we can stop more utility rate hikes and lower our bills.

*Florida Rising is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building a state where we can all be healthy, happy, and whole.