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News Release

TECO Plaza earns Energy Star certification for energy efficiency

TECO Energy’s headquarters in downtown Tampa ranks among top 25 percent of commercial properties in the United States for energy efficiency.

TAMPA, April 23, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Energy Star program has certified TECO Plaza, the headquarters of TECO Energy managed by Atlanta-based real estate firm Carter, for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection.

The certification recognizes the building’s many recent energy-efficiency upgrades, including lighting retrofits and new heating and cooling controls.

TECO Plaza, built in 1981, also is headquarters for TECO Energy’s combined utility subsidiary for Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. The nine-story building has achieved an energy-efficiency level that rates in the top 25 percent of commercial facilities in the United States.

“Tampa Electric is pleased to accept Energy Star in recognition of our energy-efficiency efforts,” said Ray Peters, director of Tampa Electric’s Corporate Purchasing & Contracts Services Administration. “It’s an example of the way we balance our commitment to environmental stewardship with our ongoing efforts to lower our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide.

Tampa Electric improved its energy performance at TECO Plaza by managing energy strategically and by making cost-effective improvements to the building. Since 2005, TECO Plaza has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions for electricity used by 372 households in a year and reduced its carbon dioxide output by 2,868 metric tons. That’s approximately equivalent to saving 322,631 gallons of gasoline.

Some of the actions taken at TECO Plaza to earn Energy Star certification include:

  • Replacing original chilled water coils throughout the building with high-efficiency heat exchangers.
  • Retrofitting all the lighting in the building.
  • Replacing the original pneumatic control system with a digital automation system.

The EPA introduced Energy Star in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes and buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the Energy Star designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $19 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 29 million vehicles.

The EPA’s national energy performance rating system provides a 1-100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for Energy Star certification . Commercial buildings that can earn Energy Star certification include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories and warehouses . For more information about Energy Star, visit energystar.gov.

To complement and reduce the need for conventional generation, Tampa Electric continues to focus on partnering with customers to increase energy efficiency. The company offers 12 residential and 16 commercial energy-efficiency programs. Almost 370,000 customers have participated in Tampa Electric’s conservation programs to date. Learn more about the company’s programs at tampaelectric.com by clicking Residential or Business and then Save Energy.

One of the country’s leading full-service commercial real estate firms since 1958, Carter offers a diverse range of services. An Atlanta-based privately held company with 400 associates, Carter has successfully and responsibly navigated five decades of commercial real estate cycles. The firm’s size allows Carter to nimbly respond to client needs and opportunities while still offering all of the resources of the industry’s largest players. Carter consistently provides clients with the highest-caliber professionals throughout every facet of the company. With a focus on integrity, commitment and excellence, Carter associates are passionate about creating value through relationships. Carter associates have a history of successfully nurturing long-term client relationships, often spanning several decades. For additional information on Carter, please visit carterusa.com.

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company, with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Tampa Electric Company is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in coal and electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.

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