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Safety and Awareness for Our Customers
Jacksonville, FL - JEA’s highest priority is delivering safe and reliable electric, water and sewer services. JEA routinely inspects and maintains its electric system to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, and the general public and their pets.
Contact and Stray Voltage
Earlier this year, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) performed an informal information request regarding contact voltage issues of eleven electric utilities in Florida that serve more than 92% of the electric customers in Florida. The utilities identified numerous on-going maintenance programs that help mitigate contact voltage issues. JEA was one of the respondents to the PSC’s information request.
While JEA has no knowledge of any prior customer issues with contact or stray voltage, our process is to quickly respond to any and all customer issues and concerns.
The Florida PSC inquiry stemmed from a company’s assertion that contact voltage is a concern in the country. This company sells a contact voltage detection program to utilities. This company has been featured on multiple national current event shows and local television newscasts.
What JEA is Doing
Immediately after being notified of potential issues, JEA crews inspected all poles in question and made necessary repairs. While JEA has not experienced any problems in the past, in an abundance of caution, we will conduct a survey of all JEA metal streetlight poles. In addition, JEA is implementing an annual streetlight inspection of its poles.
Questions and Answers
Q: What is Contact Voltage?
A: A voltage resulting from power system faults that may be present between two conductive surfaces that can be simultaneously contacted by members of the general public or their animals. Contact Voltage is not related to the normal delivery or use of electricity, and can exist at levels that may be hazardous.
Q: What is Stray Voltage?
A: A voltage resulting from the normal delivery or use of electricity which may be present between two conductive surfaces that can be simultaneously contacted by members of the general public or their animals. Stray voltage is not related to power system faults, and is generally not considered hazardous.
Q: How does Contact Voltage occur?
A: Contact Voltage can occur due to deterioration of insulation, damage to equipment from accidents or construction, and faulty workmanship.
Q: When is Contact Voltage the biggest threat?
A: Contact Voltage is a concern that requires attention and intervention all year long.
Q: Where does Contact Voltage typically occur?
A: Any surface which lies above buried electrical infrastructure can become energized. Traditional utility assets such as manhole covers and streetlights present most of the problems; however non-traditional hazards including sidewalks, fences, storefronts etc. can also be energized and particularly dangerous.
- JEA installs, operates and maintains its electric system in accordance with industry standards, including the National Electric Safety Code. It further inspects its equipment on a recurring basis, checking for various equipment issues (including proper connections and grounds).
- While JEA has no knowledge or any prior customer issues with contact or stray voltage, our process is to quickly respond to any and all customer issues and concerns.
- If an individual or company becomes aware of a potential issue with our equipment, they are encouraged to contact us—and we will then quickly investigate and resolve any problem found.
- To date, JEA has not been contacted by any individual or company regarding contact or stray voltage issues within our service territory.
- To date, JEA has not been contacted by any company (including Power Survey Company) interested in selling a product or service to JEA, aimed at identifying potential issues with contact or stray voltage issues within our service territory. We would be more than happy however, to meet with any firm offering such a product or service, to discuss the matter further.
JEA is the seventh largest community-owned electric utility in the United States, providing electric, water and sewer service to more than 875,000 accounts in northeast Florida.