Florida Municipal Electric Association Announces 2023 “Restoring Communities Award” Winners

Association News,

Restoring Communities Award logoThe Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) announced its 2023 “Restoring Communities Awards,” which recognize public power utilities for their exemplary power restoration efforts to their own communities and for providing or receiving mutual aid following significant weather events or when fellow public power communities were in need of extra assistance.

Sixteen (16) Florida public power utilities were honored for their efforts to restore power quickly and safely when called on in 2023. This not only included providing mutual aid assistance following the unprecedented landfall of Hurricane Idalia in the Big Bend region, but for other weather and non-weather-related emergencies. The 2023 Restoring Communities Awards also recognized public power utilities providing supplemental crews to fellow utilities for large-scale projects like infrastructure upgrades. 

This year’s recipients include:

  • Beaches Energy Services
  • City of Blountstown
  • City of Chattahoochee
  • Gainesville Regional Utilities
  • Green Cove Springs
  • Town of Havana
  • JEA
  • Kissimmee Utility Authority
  • Lakeland Electric
  • City of Newberry
  • New Smyrna Beach Utilities
  • Ocala Electric Utility
  • Orlando Utilities Commission
  • City of Starke
  • City of Tallahassee
  • City of Williston

“A strong network of in-state and out-of-state mutual aid support, along with millions of dollars in continuous investments into their electric grids and system infrastructure, has led to fewer outages and faster restoration times for Florida public power communities, often surpassing service reliability metrics of other utilities in Florida,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “Thanks to all of our utilities for the work they do each day to strengthen their systems and the extra hours they put in to get the power back on after weather or other emergency events. Also, my sincere admiration and appreciation goes to the utilities that offered support to other FMEA member utilities during the completion of their significant resilience and reliability projects. Our congratulations to the award recipients recognized.”

Following Hurricane Idalia, more than 360 personnel from 58 utilities in Florida and from 13 other states, along with contractors and tree crews, assisted with mutual aid efforts in Florida’s public power communities, and many went on to help neighboring utilities restore electricity to their customers once work was completed in public power communities. All Florida public power customers had their electricity restored less than 48 hours after Hurricane Idalia made landfall.

Mutual aid agreements enable electric utilities to call on each other for skilled emergency workers and supplies. Public power utilities across the country benefit from the strong network of mutual assistance partners through the American Public Power Association. These connections have created a reliable system where member utilities both request and offer assistance when there’s a need. FMEA is proud to serve as the mutual aid coordinator for Florida’s 33 public power utilities.

For more information on FMEA and Florida’s public power communities, please visit www.flpublicpower.com.