Investor Spotlight: Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas
October 26, 2016
Rob Bennett, president and CEO of TECO Energy, is a recent transplant from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Gordon Gillette, president and CEO of Tampa Electric and president of Florida Operations, is a lifelong resident of the Tampa area, TECO leader for more than 30 years, and former chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.
With TECO a part of the Emera family since July 2016, there are many similarities between the companies and some fundamental components that tie the businesses together, including:
– Transformation to cleaner energy
– Applying entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to maximize possibilities
– Acting as a strong partner, an active economic driver and contributor in communities where TECO and Emera do business.
Rob, those of us who live here know that Hillsborough County is a great place to live and work. What aspects did you see as positive factors influencing your decision to join our community?
First and foremost, we saw numerous exciting opportunities for economic growth in the Tampa Bay area and across Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, with Tampa Electric, we are pursuing providing our customers with the next-generation power generation and the next-generation power grid that is cleaner, greener, and cost effective. And, our natural gas business, Peoples Gas, is a big part of our growth strategy as well.
Our customers want this—chances are yours do too—and we’re listening; a cleaner environment in a place like Florida, with its natural beauty, is good for businesses of all kinds…not just the tourism industry but for anyone who wants to relocate or keep growing their business here.
And now that you are here, what is your favorite aspect of doing business in Tampa Bay?
Emera is proud to be part of the Tampa Bay community. From our customers’ viewpoint, we recognize the brand value to the local community that Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas have maintained for nearly 120 years, which is why our focus is on bringing Emera’s power of scale to TECO, your hometown utility that serves Tampa and Hillsborough County.
All in all, Emera sees a lot of exciting possibilities on the horizon for the business community in Hillsborough County—we’ve received the warmest of welcomes here, and we don’t take that for granted.
Gordon, where do you derive the most benefit for yourself and your company as an Investor of the EDC?
Serving Florida all the way back to 1895, it’s safe to say TECO has brought safe, reliable, and affordable power and fuel to just about every milestone in Tampa Bay and the state’s growth as a major economic player. It’s a core belief at TECO that when we can help businesses succeed, it benefits all of our customers and the entire state as well – and it lays the groundwork for more success in the future. Supporting the EDC is one more way we’re supporting your business success.
And how has the EDC played a role in helping your business succeed in Tampa and Hillsborough County?
The obvious connection between economic development and the energy business is that we provide an important basic service to customers both existing and new – our service reliability and price are very important for companies making relocation and stay-and grow location decisions.
The growth of the area powers our growth as well; if the community is thriving and growing, so are its businesses. Being an Investor in the EDC, we have a seat at the table and are part of team working to help businesses expand or relocate to our area.