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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kevin Cook

Director of Communications

City of Lakeland

863/834-6264

Twitter @lakelandgov

 

LAKELAND ELECTRIC RECEIVED APPA HIGHEST DESIGNATION

Reliability, Safety, Training and System Improvement




LAKELAND, FL (April 5, 2013) - Lakeland Electric recently received the highest designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) as part of the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) platinum award program. Lakeland Electric was one of six utilities nationwide that received the highest APPA designation at Diamond Level for providing customers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.  Lakeland Electric had a perfect 100% score.

“Lakeland Electric is proud to be recognized as having one of the best operating records in the public power industry,” said Joel Ivy, General Manager at Lakeland Electric. “This recognition is a reflection of our continued commitment to deliver safe, reliable power to our customers as efficiently as possible.”

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, training and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices, and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

“We have one of the best reliability ratings in the industry and at this time we have one of the lowest rates in Florida,” said Ivy. “Receiving the RP3 designation is a reflection of our commitment to our customers and it’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for the work we are doing in Lakeland.”

In order to attain Gold designation, a utility must earn at least 80% of the possible points. Utilities that meet 90-97% of the program criteria receive Platinum designation. Diamond designation is awarded to utilities that meet 98-100% of the program criteria.

Brent McKinney, Manager, Electric Transmission & Distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees on March 25th during the Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Kissimmee, Florida.

More information and a full list of the 90 designee – recognized in three categories – are available at www.publicpower.org.

 

 


The Lakeland City Commission unanimously voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers 90 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after April 1, 2013.  The new fuel charge will be $41.35 per 1,000 kWh. 

After listening to a presentation at the Monday, March 18, 2013 Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended a decrease to the current fuel charge based on fuel forecasts for the upcoming year.  Although there is little change in the natural gas market, there has been an 8.4% reduction in coal costs that results in a lower total fuel forecast.

RESIDENTIAL RATES BASED ON 1,000 kWh

Current                                   New Rates – Effective April 1, 2013

Base Charge   $  59.31                                   $  59.31 (includes environmental charges)

Fuel Charge    $  42.25                                   $  41.35 (includes fuel increase)

TOTAL:            $101.56                                  $100.66

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 April 1, 2013 fuel charge decrease will be the second lowest in the state and the lowest in Florida for large commercial users. Visit www.lakelandelectric.com for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.


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.


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.