Hard as it may be to believe, here we are at the end of another year. What we hope is easier to believe: How hard we worked in 2017 to keep your life humming with safe, reliable power, convenience and all the things you want and deserve from your electric utility.
It’s a big job, but we’re proud to do it because we share this community with you. There’s no place we’d rather be than the Tampa area, Tampa Electric’s home for nearly 120 years. Through the decades we’ve been your neighbors, sent our children to school with your children, shopped where you shop, enjoyed restaurants you enjoy, cheered on our sports teams with you and so much more.
And when we go to work, we work to make big things happen by powering your days and nights. Here are a few ways that happened in 2017.
It started big. Make that two big bangs in tandem: in January we launched new customer information and billing systems to help ensure you have an outstanding customer experience with us, and we completed a major expansion of Polk Power Station. Together, these add up to more power in the wires for more people to do more things as the community grows…and with more and better options to help you manage your account.
So long, pre-solar-power world! How do you top the opening of the biggest solar array in the Tampa Bay area? Simple – a few months later you launch a solar project that dwarfs it. This is clean energy for you, and we’re just getting started: over the next few years, 6 million solar panels in 10 new photovoltaic solar projects will generate 600 megawatts (MW) of power for more than 100,000 homes. If the dawning of a new era typically involves the sunrise, we’re doing more than ever to put the sun to work for you.
Remember the hurricane? Irma was her name, and while she talked a good game, the impact could’ve been much worse. While we realize some Floridians are still recovering from the storm, we’re grateful for the outstanding collaboration that the preparation and restoration effort showcased – an epic featuring out-of-state crewmembers by the hundreds, critical help from first responders, unexpected side stories and best of all, patience and support from you as we worked nonstop to get the community’s lights back on as quickly as possible.
A healthy habitat to maintain: Florida’s environment is a treasure, for sure – and like any treasure, it needs protection and care. And that’s what we bring, time and again. To the beautiful views and trails along McKay Bay, where our work with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful continues to earn praise. To birds like bald eagles that need safe homes away from electrical equipment. And especially at Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center (open at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day and through April 15, except for Easter!)
Helping those who need helping hands. Closing the year, we put on our Santa hats and went to town, donating items for good causes and collecting many more donated things to help people in need. That includes spending time volunteering in the community over the course of the year to the tune of more than 20,000 combined hours across TECO companies. In other words, if the holidays are a time for giving, we act like the holidays are happening all year long. Like reliable power that’s there for you at all hours, our commitment to those who need our help stays strong.
And it’s this momentum and much more that we take into 2018. It’s anybody’s guess what the new year will bring, but we know where we want to take the best of what we can offer: into your homes and into your hearts, with power that’s always just a light switch away and caring for the community that never goes out. Thank you for being on this journey with us as we strive, always, to make it a better one.
From TECO to all our customers, we wish you a safe, happy, healthy and hopeful 2018.