The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today gave Tampa Electric Company (TECO) and Peoples Gas System (Peoples) the ability to deny service to customers threatening or intending harm to their employees.
“Safety is our priority, and utility workers in the field need to be safe while doing their job,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “One of today’s sad realities is that a small percentage of customers will resort to threats when their service is being disconnected or restoration is denied.”
TECO and Peoples field employees have experienced a number of threats, assaults, and harassment, mainly occurring when the utilities have had to temporarily suspend a customer’s service for failing to pay a bill. The utilities can now refuse or discontinue service for threats made by customers or by anyone on the customer’s premise.
TECO’s Security Department will also ensure that unwarranted disconnections do not occur and will work with the utility’s Customer Service Department to resolve any alleged problems.
The PSC approved a similar tariff for Florida Power & Light Company in 1996.
TECO serves about 750,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Peoples Gas’ serves nearly 365,000 customers in Florida.
For additional information, visit floridapsc.com.