JEA Board reduces rates, approves CEO bonus

It’s a move that’s designed to save JEA customers $100 million over the next eight years.

JEA's Board of Directors has approved a number of changes that, as a package, lower your bill and provide more stability in your bill, according to JEA's CFO Melissa Dykes. The vote dropped the fuel charge rate by $4.25/MWh. As a result, customer bills across the board will drop, although exactly how much is variable based on the customer involved. JEA says residential customers will see anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars off their monthly bills- about 30 cents for the typical customer, whereas commercial customers can expect a 1%-5% drop.

Utility rates will now be more in line with actual fuel expenses, according to JEA.

A special economic incentive that allows special rates to be negotiated for businesses considering a move to Jacksonville was also approved, as was a plan for an expedited pay down of $190 million in debt- which is where JEA says they’re expecting to save about $100 million over eight years.

JEA's Board has also approved bonuses for employees and the CEO. CEO Paul McElroy was awarded more than $55,000 as a bonus. The Board noted McElroy and his leadership team have led them to a string of customer savings, and they need to be competitive in offering McElroy incentives to stay with JEA. The bonus was based on the timeframe leading up to, but not including, Hurricane Matthew.

Across the workforce, they’ve approved $3.1 million in bonuses- or 2.2% of the FY2016 salaries.

JEA's Vice President/General Manager of Water/Wastewater Systems also outlined the process moving forward for improvements in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, specifically with wastewater issues they faced. We're told the utility is looking at some areas to immediately install new generators, while also mapping out long term infrastructure improvements.

The utility added that, in the aftermath of the election, they're waiting to see the future of some big energy policies, including the "Clean Power Plan" which had been pushed by President Obama.

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