Public Power Week

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and its members – Florida’s 34 public power utilities – join more than 2,000 public power utilities across the nation to share the importance of public power’s contributions to local citizens. Florida’s municipal utilities are using this time to remind citizens that your local utility helps to build a strong community.

“Public power utilities in Florida are dedicated in providing high reliability and promoting energy efficiency and conservation,” said Barry Moline, FMEA’s executive director.  “Public Power Week is a celebration of locally owned electric utilities and how they help to build strong communities.”

Municipal utilities take this week to celebrate the strengths of public power. They are driven by public service, not profit. They involve the local community in their decision making. They are accountable to their local citizens, not distant shareholders. And they invest in the local community, helping to provide essential services, such as parks, public safety and roads.

“Municipal electric utilities care deeply about their local community,” said Moline. “We have the highest reliability rating in the state and actively work with our customers to become as energy efficient as possible, which helps lower electric bills.”

FMEA has prepared a sample ProclamationPress Release, and Op-Ed for our members to distribute.

Here’s how some of our municipal members celebrated last year:

  • New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission showed off their knowledge and services with a Public Power Day celebration, where they had games and prizes, energy information, rebates and more!
  • KUA highlighted locality and not-for-profit pride while celebrating Public Power Week, which coincided with their 28th anniversary of serving the community! Several activities were planned including attending FMEA’s Energy Connections Conference in Orlando, FL!
  • Lakeland Electric wass proud to serve their community with exceptional service and affordable rates through public power!
  • Gainesville Regional Utilities shared the advantages of public power, building a strong community.
  • City of Tallahassee invited the community to Hopkins Power Plant on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 for an informative and fun event and offered activities, demonstrations and more!
  • Orlando Utility Commission issued a proclamation for Public Power Week, which highlighted their continued contribution to the community, and unfaltering reliability and efficiency.

Operating quite differently than their for-profit counterparts, who must satisfy the economic demands of global investors, public power utilities are measured by the quality service they provide local consumers, and by the contributions they make to their local community. Without question, public power helps to build strong communities.

Public power utilities have played an important role in Florida’s electric industry for more than 115 years as local engines of economic growth. These local entities brought power to their cities and towns when others refused, and today public power utilities eagerly partner with their communities to expand economic development.

With the onset of World War II in the 1940s, an environment of fuel rationing made it critical for these separate utilities to band together and share energy resources to better ensure reliability and cost effectiveness.

This need spurred the formation of the Florida Municipal Utilities Association, which became the Florida Municipal Electric Association in 1988.  Today, FMEA represents the interests of 34 public power communities across the state.  Ranging in size from Jacksonville to Moore Haven and spanning the state from Blountstown to Key West, the state’s public power utilities serve nearly 3 million Floridians, or 14 percent of the state’s electric market.  FMEA members collectively are Florida’s third largest source of electricity.

Tips for Saving Energy

  • Adjust thermostat settings to 68F degrees or lower in winter and 78F degrees or higher in summer, if health permits.
  • When you’re not going to be home for an extended period, raise the thermostat setting to 82F degrees in summer or lower the thermostat a bit to 66F degrees in winter.
  • Close curtains and blinds to help insulate homes and buildings against energy loss.
  • Avoid using room air conditioners in unoccupied rooms; turn them off when you leave the room or home.
  • Run your dishwasher and wash and dry your laundry later in the evening.
  • Turn off all non-essential lighting and electric appliances, such as pool pumps.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room or when they aren’t needed.
  • Shower later in the evening or early in the morning.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • If someone in your home is dependent on electric powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, check back-up facilities and notify your local utility of special needs.
  • Consider cooking with a microwave oven, which uses less than half the power of a conventional oven and cooks food in about one-fourth the time.

About Public Power Week:  Public Power: An American Tradition that Works is the continuing theme of the 28th annual celebration of more than 2,000 public power communities nationwide.  Please join FMEA in celebrating Public Power Week, October 5-11.

About FMEA:  The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.