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CITY OF LAKELAND/LAKELAND ELECTRIC PREPS FOR TROPICAL STORM ERIKA

LAKELAND, FL (August 28, 2015) - Tropical Storm Erika’s projected path continues to bring the storm closer to Florida. Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 15-173 declaring a state of emergency in every county within the state of Florida in preparation for Tropical Storm Erika.
 
As of the 2 p.m. update on Friday, the National Hurricane Center says Erika was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 70.2 West. Erika has been moving westward near 18 mph for the past several hours. A motion toward the west-northwest is expected to begin later Friday afternoon or Friday night and continue through Sunday.
 
Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some weakening is forecast this afternoon and tonight as Erika moves over land, followed by little change in strength through Saturday night. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles to the east of the center.
 
There is still a lot of uncertainty in the long range forecast. For now, the intensity will be kept as a tropical storm and not a hurricane. Polk County is still in the cone of concern. Keep in mind that the models could shift again west on east.
 
For now, the big impact days for the area could be Monday and Tuesday depending on the track. A track going into the Gulf keeps inland areas in tropical storm conditions.
 
In preparation for a storm, Lakeland Electric would like customers to know that when an outage occurs, thanks to Smart Meter technology, Lakeland Electric is notified within seconds of approximately 90% of all outages with the help of this technology and action to resolve the outage begins immediately. However, Lakeland Electric customers are still encouraged to call (863-834-4248) if they lose power.
 
Customers can sign up for Outage Notifications online.  With these notifications, customers can receive texts or emails advising that their power was interrupted and a follow-up text or email notification that power has been restored.
 
To sign up for outage notifications and to view an interactive outage map, please visit www.lakelandelectric.com/outage-info.
 
Lakeland area residents should know that due to the recent wet weather, the ground is saturated in many areas. In fact, during the month of August, Lakeland has received 11.5” of rain.  Erika is expected to deliver additional rainfall making trees are more susceptible to being uprooted. When trees fall, the potential for outages increases as trees can cause direct damage to the power system, as well as to our customer’s homes and other personal property.
 
Follow the City of Lakeland on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CityofLakeland and share your storm related photos and information to help keep the community informed. For more information please visit www.lakelandgov.net.


Lakeland Electric General Manager Elected Secretary-Treasurer of FMEA Board of Directors

(Tallahassee, FL) – Members of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) have elected Joel Ivy, General Manager for Lakeland Electric, as secretary-treasurer of the organization’s board of directors. 

FMEA represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provides electricity to nearly 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers. 

“Board members participate in regular meetings held across the state and are charged with setting the overall direction of the organization,” said Barry Moline, FMEA’s executive director.  “Joel has established himself as a strong leader on utility issues not only in Lakeland, but throughout the state of Florida.  We’re honored to have him serve as our secretary-treasurer.”

“I am pleased to be chosen to serve as an elected member on FMEA’s board.  This organization is helping our state’s electric industry stay at the forefront of the nation by keeping its members informed on legislative issues and providing safety, training and customer service resources,” said Ivy.

He added, “Vince Lombardi once said, ‘The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.’  Through FMEA, individual municipal utilities located across Florida are working together to assure that our priorities remain focused on the consumer.”

Mr. Ivy has an extensive professional career in the power industry that began almost 30 years ago when he started as a lineman in 1983.  He has had a steady career path that includes climbing utility poles to managing multi-hundred million dollar operations with start-ups, investor owned and publicly owned utilities. Past experience includes his tenure as Chief Operating Officer at Visible Light Solar Technologies and Vice President of New Mexico Operations for Public Service Company of New Mexico, an investor owned utility with almost 500,000 customers. Mr. Ivy has been General Manager for Lakeland Electric for the last three years.

Other officers elected to the FMEA board include President Mike New of Newberry; President-Elect Clay Lindstrom of Fort Pierce; and Vice President Chip Merriam of Orlando. 

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


LAKELAND ELECTRIC FUEL CHARGE DECREASE EFFECTIVE JULY 2015

 

LAKELAND, FL (JUNE 1, 2015) - The Lakeland City Commission voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers $1.00 per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after July 1, 2015.  The new fuel charge will be $44.85 per 1,000 kWh. 

 

After listening to a presentation at the Monday, June 1st Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended a decrease to the current fuel charge based on fuel forecasts. 

 

 

RESIDENTIAL RATES BASED ON 1,000 kWh

 

Current                        New Rates – Effective July 1, 2015

Base Charge    $  59.64                       $  59.64 (includes environmental charges)

Fuel Charge     $  45.85                       $  44.85 (includes fuel decrease)

TOTAL:             $105.49                       $104.49

 

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 July 1, 2015 fuel charge decrease will be the continue to be one of the lowest in the state. Visit www.lakelandelectric.com for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.

 

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CUSTOMER ACADEMY

LAKELAND ELECTRIC OFFERS HANDS-ON CLASSES IN UTILITY EDUCATION

 

 

LAKELAND, FL (February 5, 2015) -- Lakeland Electric is offering its Customer Academy to area residents starting February 10, 2015.  The Customer Academy is a free, interactive informational program that allows customers the opportunity to gain insight into their community-owned electric utility and discuss energy industry "hot topics" with subject matter experts. 

 

Academy Topics Include:

  • Explanation of Electricity – from generation to billing
  • Power Plant and Substation Tours
  • Accessing you "Smart Meter" Information on the web
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Utility Financials and Rate Structures    

 

The academy will consist of six (6) two-hour evening sessions, with sessions held on every other Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

The program is limited to 30 Lakeland Electric customers aged 16 or older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  All participants interested in the Customer Academy are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.

 

Those interested in participating should sign up online at http://www.lakelandelectric.com/EducationCareers/CustomerAcademy.aspx or contact Betsy Levingston at 863/834-6439 and by email at betsy.levingston@lakelandelectric.com to secure a spot on the roster.