Tampa Electric had been serving customers for three years by the time the world’s first large-scale electric air conditioner was unveiled in 1902. Since then, as our hometown’s population has grown by leaps and bounds, our capacity to provide our nearly 730,000 customers today with safe, reliable power has only grown with it.
Customer demand and our commitment to you came together for a new record on July 5. At about 5:15 p.m. that day, our summer system peak – electricity used by our customers – reached an all-time high of 4,373 megawatts (MW).
“Power consumption, like the heat, tends to increase over the course of a sunny summer day, so that by 5 p.m., it’s very hot, people are coming home from work, they turn the air conditioner down and start cooking dinner,” said Beth Young, director of Transmission. “That explains the reason for our system peak to arrive at that point in the day.”
Typically, people use more power on cold winter days: if it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside, for example, it takes a lot of heating to raise the temperature in a space to a comfortable 70 degrees. By contrast, cooling a space from 90 degrees to 78 is less of a stretch. Tampa Electric’s overall system peak, 4,742 MW, occurred on Jan. 11, 2010.
A peek at how you can save energy – and money – on your electric bill
But while these system peak milestones speak to our ability to serve our customers with 99.9 percent reliability, we balance that with our commitment to helping you save energy, whether it’s hot or cold outside.
Here are some valuable hot weather energy-saving tips to help you maintain your comfort level at home while keeping an eye on your electric bill – which, by the way, is 7 percent lower than nine years ago. We also offer a great slate of programs to help you save energy, including our free-to-sign-up-for Energy Planner program gives you more control over your thermostat while you enjoy a lower rate for electricity 87 percent of the year.
Beyond keeping your A/C humming at home, remember to be mindful about how to stay cool when you’re outside – don’t let overheating and dehydration sneak up on you.
But for day-to-day life, know that Tampa Electric is here and ready to safely supply you with the reliable power you need to stay cool … with another system summer peak that might be right around the corner.
“Before the economic downturn in 2008, we were hitting new summer peaks every year,” Young said. “It’s taken this amount of time to get back to where we were in terms of customer usage. But the great news is that more than just growing as a company in all the right ways, our team members live here too, just like our customers – we all want to stay cool and save energy.”