Investor Spotlight: Tampa Electric

November 1, 2023

Tampa Electric has been the leading provider of electricity in West Central Florida for more than 120 years. It currently delivers 99.98 percent service reliability to more than 830,000 customers, including 90,000 businesses. Tampa Electric offers more energy-saving programs and generates more solar energy per customer than any other utility in Florida. The company engages with economic development partners and invests in reliability to support business growth.

Archie Collins, president and CEO, Tampa Electric

Collins has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He began his career at Nova Scotia Power in 1990, and he has held increasingly senior roles since then. Prior to joining Tampa Electric, Collins served in leadership roles at Nova Scotia Power and Emera Energy, as president and chief executive officer of Grand Bahama Power Co., and as president and chief operating officer of Emera Caribbean. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer of Tampa Electric.

Collins is a professional chemical engineer, and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from St. Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie University.

He sits on the boards of the Florida Council of 100, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council and Enterprise Florida. He also serves on the boards of The Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, Florida Reliability Coordinating Council and Tampa Theatre.

What role do you see your organization playing in helping to shape our community’s future?

Tampa Electric has been powering homes and businesses in greater Tampa Bay since 1899. Today, we serve 830,000 customers, including 90,000 businesses, across 2,000 square miles in West Central Florida.

Our residential and commercial customers depend on us to keep their homes safe and comfortable and to be able to do their jobs and operate their businesses. We are committed to delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to them.

We’re more than a utility, however. We are an economic pillar of the region, and we work to invest in our community, support our customers and protect our natural resources.

One of the ways we’re shaping our community’s future is by reducing our carbon footprint. During the past two decades, our community has grown exponentially, but our carbon emissions have declined. In fact, we produce 25% more power today than we did in the year 2000, yet we’ve reduced emissions by 55%. That’s a result of our efforts to reduce coal to just a fraction of what it was. Now, we’re producing more clean energy, including solar. Today, we are the No. 1 producer of solar energy per customer in the Sunshine State and the second largest solar producer per customer in the southeast. And we’re working to bring more solar online. By 2026, nearly 20% of our energy portfolio will come from the sun. And that has saved our customers immensely. Tampa Electric customers saved more than $80 million in fuel costs in 2022 when natural gas prices were historically high.

Economically, we have a big impact on our community. We provide jobs that directly support more than 2,500 Florida families. Last year, we spent $1.5 billion on goods and services, propping up providers and small businesses in the region. Our investments in infrastructure last year surpassed $1 billion, supporting engineering, construction and manufacturing jobs in the region.

The ways in which we shape the community extend well beyond electricity. Tampa Electric invests directly in community nonprofit organizations to support education and skills training, economic development, health and wellness, environment and culture. Tampa Electric contributes nearly $2 million each year to support more than 150 community organizations. In addition, our employees dedicate 30,000 volunteer hours annually to give back to our customers.

What community issues are you most looking forward to the EDC tackling over the next couple of years?

Working with the Tampa Bay EDC, Tampa Electric is focused on strengthening our workforce.

Tampa Bay is a growing hub for technology and innovation – and these breakthroughs can benefit our community, our residents and our businesses in so many ways. But we need a skilled and educated workforce to fill the demand for talent.

That’s not a challenge that can be fixed overnight. Instead, we must be intentional about expanding education and career training opportunities. It’s important that we align these opportunities with the jobs available today, in addition to the jobs we expect to come online in the future.

The Tampa Bay EDC plays an integral role in bringing businesses and community leaders together so we can plan for our long-term needs and work collaboratively to grow and strengthen the workforce.

Why do you feel it’s important for the local business community to continue to support economic development efforts?

We can accomplish far more when we work together than we could on our own. In addition to being an active member of the Tampa Bay EDC, Tampa Electric supports and participates in TBEDC’s Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation.

Through this effort, we’re able to research and educate our community about issues that affect economic opportunity. CertUp Tampa is a great example of how increased public awareness can drive locals to good-paying jobs. This campaign promotes skills training programs that lead to careers in our region. The CertUp Tampa platform highlights our partnership with Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in a new Electrical Line Worker Training Program through the HCC Foundation and Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education. Qualifying students will have the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills needed to pursue a career in the electric utility industry as a line worker trainee.

It’s a win-win. Delivering prosperity for Florida families and our economy.

You’ve been in Tampa for several years now. What has surprised you most about Tampa and how do you describe our area to people you know or meet outside of the market?

This is a community where success is celebrated. There is optimism, confidence and alignment across this community that promotes economic growth, social good and shared success. I feel privileged to be here and to lead the TECO team – a team that cares so much for our community and our customers.