This Sunday, August 21, marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA). FMEA is a member-driven association of Florida’s 33 public power utilities. As part of the association’s yearlong celebration, FMEA has been highlighting its 80th anniversary by commemorative significant events and milestones through an interactive timeline on its website, posting photos from its archives on social media and through a special video on its YouTube channel, released during its annual conference in July.
“For eight decades, our commitment has remained the same – to steadfastly advocate for Florida’s public power communities and to support our member utilities and their public servant employees,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “From pooled fuel procurement programs in the early days, to advocacy in the halls of Congress and the state Capitol, and coordinating mutual aid assistance to expedite power restoration for our members when disaster strikes, our history shows FMEA’s record of success in building a stronger network of public power communities. Our enduring mission will always be to protect and promote those communities and the electric utilities they own and operate.”
FMEA represents the interests of members that range in size from cities as populous as Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland, Tallahassee and Gainesville, to smaller Main Street towns, such as Havana, Wauchula and Bushnell. Together, these community-owned electric utilities proudly serve more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business utility consumers and employ more than 5,400 Floridians.
The association actively represents and advocates for member cities’ interests on a wide variety of state and federal issues, provides education and training for members and serves as a clearinghouse for industry news and information. FMEA hosts five signature events throughout the year:
- FMEA Annual Conference, which brings top industry speakers, informative workshops and discussion groups together for utility managers and CEOs; city managers and directors; local policymakers and elected officials from public power municipalities; and other electric utilities.
- Energy Connections Conference & Trade Show, a two-day event delivering cutting-edge information to members on how to improve their day-to-day business operations, focusing on customer service, safety, utility operations, cybersecurity and technology, and more.
- The Florida Lineman Competition, an annual day-long event that pits utility lineman teams from all over the state against one another in competitions demonstrating their skills, knowledge and teamwork.
- FMEA Hurricane Forum, a one-day educational event focusing on hurricane preparedness and response, mutual aid, FEMA issues, and other disaster and emergency response related topics.
- FMEA Legislative Rally, a convening of FMEA members in Tallahassee during Florida’s annual legislative session to discuss legislative proposals affecting public power communities and to advocate these critical issues before the legislature.
FMEA was originally established as the Florida Municipal Utilities Association in 1942 in response to World War II fuel shortages. At the time, municipal utilities across the state realized they could band together to purchase fuel in bulk and achieve economies of scale. The association changed its name to the Florida Municipal Electric Association in 1988.
For more than a century, municipal electric utilities across the nation and in the state of Florida have provided affordable, reliable electric service. Locally owned and operated, these utilities focus on the unique needs and interests of their customers, are nimble in adjusting to the desires of the community and have quick response times, all while investing back into their communities. As forward-thinking entities, public power utilities focus on continuous improvement and innovation, make investments in the energy grid and electrical systems for improved reliability, and are committed to environmental stewardship.
For more information on FMEA and Florida’s Public Power communities, please visit www.flpublicpower.com.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 33 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.