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The latest happenings in your city government.


FMEA Rates Lakeland Electric Rates as One of the Lowest in the State

FMEA’s Bill Comparison for January 2013 Is now available. 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.

Of the 15 categories, Lakeland Electric and Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) are tied for lowest bills in six categories each. The City of Tallahassee ranked lowest in two categories, while the Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach was lowest in one.

For residential bills, FPL is lowest in two of three categories.

In the commercial sector, the report shows Lakeland Electric is lowest in three categories, Tallahassee and FPL are lowest in two, and the Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach is lowest in one.

In the industrial sector, Lakeland Electric and FPL are tied as lowest in two categories each.

The FMEA Bill comparison provides a fair comparison of customer bills served by different utilities. The report includes utility rates, average franchise fees of 6 percent, local payments in lieu of taxes, and gross receipts taxes.


McMurray Named Assistant General Manager of Energy Delivery

Lakeland Electric names John McMurray as Assistant General Manager of Energy Delivery.  He has over 26 years of experience with both public and private electric utilities.

McMurray has been serving as the Manager of Engineering Services & System Planning at SECO since 2005.  In his position at SECO, he managed Standards and Compliance, Land Rights and Inspection, System Planning and Distribution Design for the utility in serving their 180,000 members.  Prior to his tenure at SECO, McMurray spent 18 years at Florida Power and Light (4.6 million customers) where he was responsible for coordinating a $140 million dollar annual expansion plan.

Joel Ivy, General Manager of Lakeland Electric said, “John has a history of developing strategies and successfully guiding their implementation.  We were impressed with his experience in planning, budgeting, engineering, operations, renewable generation and Smart Grid systems; giving him a very broad understanding of the electric utility business.” As AGM of Energy Delivery, McMurray will be responsible for all aspects of the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of Lakeland Electric’s transmission, distribution, substation, and lighting facilities.

McMurray said, “I look forward to having the opportunity to work with City Manager Doug Thomas, Lakeland Electric General Manager Joel Ivy and the Lakeland City Commission to promote the utility and ensure Lakeland Electric’s future success.”  He added, “I’m a performance driven leader and I am excited to work with such a knowledgeable and experienced Lakeland Electric staff.

McMurray holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and he is presently pursuing his MBA at St. Leo University.  He served as the 2012 Program Chairman for the Florida Electric Cooperative Engineering Conference and he was recently a conference panel speaker for the Sensus Smart Grid Conference. McMurray will officially start at his new position on March 11, 2013 and he will make $145,000 per year. He is married to his wife, Donna, and they have three children (Sean, Patrick and Jacqueline).

Lakeland Electric is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida.  The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889.  Today, power is generated at Lakeland Electric’s two main power plants, the 941-megawatt McIntosh Power Plant and the 176-megawatt Larsen Power Plant.


Lakeland Electric Fuel Charge Decrease - January 2nd

The Lakeland City Commission unanimously voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers 55 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after January 2, 2013.  The new fuel charge will be $42.25 per 1,000 kWh. 

After listening to a presentation at the December 17, 2012 Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended a decrease to the current fuel charge based on fuel forecasts for the upcoming year.  Although natural gas prices have increased slightly, there has been a decrease in coal costs and milder temperatures that have resulted in reduced demand for electricity.

RESIDENTIAL RATES BASED ON 1,000 kWh

Current                                                        New Rates – Effective January 2, 2013

Base Charge   $  59.31                                   $  59.31 (includes environmental charges)

Fuel Charge    $  42.80                                   $  42.25 (includes fuel increase)

TOTAL:           $102.11                                   $101.56

The base rate includes environmental compliance charges that are directly related to federal and state initiatives regarding clean air and water mandates. Most of the expenses are related to energy production and include air emission controls, water quality monitoring and capital spending for equipment necessary to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act. 

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through charge to customers. 

Based on Florida Municipal Electric Association data, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates after the January 2, 2013 fuel charge decrease will be the second lowest in the state and the lowest in Florida for the large commercial and industrial users.

Visit www.lakelandelectric.com for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.

 

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Lakeland Electric Road Closure For Power Pole Relocation

Starting Monday, December 10, 2012 Lakeland Electric will be closing portions of McDonald Street from South Florida Avenue to Ingraham Avenue from December 10, 2012 to February 1, 2013 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The closure is necessary to allow Lakeland Electric enough room to relocate electric power poles and overhead electric power lines along McDonald Street. 

This work is necessary to continue to provide electricity safely and reliably to Lakeland Electric customers.  A message board has been installed to advise those already using this route of the pending closure.  Traffic will be clearly routed by the appropriate signs and barricades to assist with an orderly flow of traffic.  Questions should be directed to Lakeland Electric’s Project Manager at 863/834-6497.