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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ocala Electric Utility receives 2023 Restoring Communities Award

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) recently recognized Ocala Electric Utility (OEU), along with 15 additional public power utilities in the state, with a Restoring Communities Award.

According to the City of Ocala, this award recognizes public power utilities for their exemplary power restoration efforts in their communities, and for providing or receiving mutual aid following significant weather events or when fellow public power communities needed extra assistance.

Florida public power utilities were honored for their efforts to restore power quickly and safely when called upon in 2023. This not only included providing mutual aid assistance following Hurricane Idalia’s landfall in the Big Bend region, but also 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, such as infrastructure upgrades.

“OEU was honored to provide aide to the City of Williston in April 2023,” stated the city in a media release. During that project, OEU lineman helped build a new three-phase electric line to serve the Williston Airport.

According to the city, projects like these are integral to the surrounding community and provide increased infrastructure.

“Lending a helping hand to one another is a core value of what it means to be a public power community,” stated Chad Lynch, OEU Deputy Director.

“Sometimes we are the ones to send out a call for assistance and sometimes we are the ones answering. Knowing that a fellow public power utility will always be there for you when needed is very reassuring and helps us ensure we are providing our customers with reliable service,” added Lynch.

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 network of mutual assistance partners through the American Public Power Association.

According to FMEA, these connections have created a reliable system where member utilities request for help and lend a hand whenever there is a need. FMEA serves as the mutual aid coordinator for Florida’s 33 public power utilities.

For more information, visit Ocala Electric Utility online or follow them on Facebook.