FMEA News Feed

KUA Names Building for Retiring Ken Davis

kua1To honor retiring vice president of engineering and operations Ken Davis, the Kissimmee Utility Authority board of directors has named its newest facility the Kenneth L. Davis Line Operations Center.

A surprise proclamation, honoring Davis’ nearly 32 years of service, was read during Wednesday’s utility board meeting, attended by nearly 100 well-wishers.

Hired in 1984 as a staff engineer, Davis is credited with the strength and stability of Kissimmee’s current electric system. He was responsible for the design and construction of eight of the utility’s 10 electrical substations and served as project manager for the construction of the utility’s headquarters on Carroll Street in the early 1990s.

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2016 Florida Lineman Competition Journeyman Champions Place #1 at APPA’s National Rodeo


JEA, the 2016 Florida Lineman Competition Champions, brought home the winner’s trophy for the 16th annual American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo. The Rodeo was held April 1-2, in Minneapolis, Minn., and hosted by Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and Shakopee Public Utilities.

According to an article by Public Power Daily, lineworkers risk their lives on the job every day, and the Rodeo awards honor lineworkers’ expertise. The events are judged based upon safety, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling, and timely event completion.

Many competitors from Florida’s public power utilities traveled to the event, including seven journeyman teams and 15 apprentices from JEA, Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), Lakeland Electric, Ocala utility Services, and Orlando utilities Commission (OUC).

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Community Solar Sector Expected to Keep Growing for Years

solarprogramConsumers want solar power, and community solar programs are an increasingly popular option, since so many Americans are not able to put panels on their rooftops, says a new report by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions. Consumer demand, coupled with innovations in the design of community solar programs, will likely drive growth in the community solar market for years, says the report, Unlocking the Value of Community Solar.

These programs “allow customers who do not own their homes, possess strong credit scores, or have adequate roof space to buy solar power, or in some cases, to invest in solar assets,” noted the report.

“U.S. electric utilities of all types are defining their own paths forward to bring solar to their customers,” said the analysis, which notes that rural electric cooperatives account for more than half of the nation’s community solar programs, although only 26 percent of U.S. electricity providers are co-ops.

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Supreme Court Ok’s Solar Ballot Proposal

solar-energy-storage-TexasFloridians will get a chance this fall to put solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution.

The Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling Thursday March 31, found that the wording of a controversial ballot initiative backed by major utilities meets the legal standards to go before voters in November

The court did not rule on the merits of the proposed amendment, which is sponsored by a group called “Consumers for Smart Solar” and has already been slotted as amendment number 1 on the November ballot. Instead, the court found that the measure meets wording requirements, such as being limited to a single subject and being unambiguous.
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FMEA Releases February 2016 Bill Comparison

GRAPHIC_FMEABillComp-01FMEA’s Bill Comparison for January 2016 shows Municipal Electric Utilities are lowest in 15 of 15 categories.

The report compares utility bills for residential, commercial and industrial utility customers categorized by consumption in 15 categories.

The report is produced monthly and includes billing information from investor-owned and municipal utilities.

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City of Tallahassee Reduces Electric and Natural Gas Rates

tallyCity of Tallahassee utility customers will soon begin to see a savings on their electric and natural gas bills. Due to lower fuel costs, the City is able to pass along the savings, helping families and businesses alike.

Taking effect this Friday, April 1, a typical residential electric bill will decrease by 2.6 percent, and a typical residential natural gas bill will decrease by 4.7 percent. When compared to the utility rates in 2008, rates are 31 percent lower, saving customers approximately $600 per year and $150 million community wide.

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Renewable Energy Issue to go on Primary Ballot

renewableGov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will place on the Aug. 30 primary-election ballot a proposal that could give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable energy devices.

Lawmakers this month approved a proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 193) and an accompanying bill (HB 195). The accompanying bill called for the proposed constitutional amendment to appear on the primary ballot instead of the November general-election ballot. Continue reading