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Moody’s Upgrades JEA’s Bond Ratings for Water/Wastewater and District Energy Systems
JACKSONVILLE (Sept. 29, 2020) -- Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded JEA’s water/wastewater and district energy systems senior and subordinated bond ratings and financial outlook in its latest rating action published on Sept. 28, 2020. The new rating action upgrades JEA’s water/wastewater system senior bond ratings to Aa3 from A2 and the district energy (chilled water) system bond rating to A1 from A3.
Higher bond ratings mean lower borrowing costs – and ultimately lower overall costs – for JEA customers. JEA has more than $1.3 billion in debt in the water, wastewater and district energy systems, and these credit rating upgrades will help keep JEA’s borrowing costs low for all of its customers. Ratings are assigned on the basis of extensive analysis by the rating agency, considering factors such as financial strength, economic diversity, management capability, and operating experience.
Moody’s states, “The stable outlook reflects that financial operations will remain stable and that new, permanent management will be implemented in the near term and will promote prudent fiscal management.”
Moody’s also highlights the recent resolution agreement between JEA and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) over the Vogtle Generation Plant Power Purchase Agreement, strong debt service, credit strengths, and proper governance as some of the reasons for these upgrades.
“These bond upgrades from Moody’s signal a renewed confidence in JEA’s new board, senior leadership team, and employees,” JEA Interim Managing Director and CEO Paul McElroy said. “We will continue with our efforts to move JEA forward to set a positive financial course for the future of JEA and its customers.”
Moody’s also noted that JEA is not susceptible to immediate material credit risks associated with the coronavirus “given its diverse economy and strong recent revenue collections.”
JEA is a not-for-profit, community-owned utility located in Jacksonville, Florida, proudly serving an estimated 478,000 electric, 357,000 water, 279,000 sewer customers and 15,000 reclaimed water customers. JEA is not owned by investors. It was created by the City of Jacksonville to serve those who live in Jacksonville and in the surrounding communities. The sole purpose of JEA’s business is to ensure the electric, water and sewer demands of its customers are met, both today and for generations to come with the goal to provide reliable services at the best value to our customers while ensuring our areas’ precious natural resources are protected.
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At JEA, community and service go hand in hand. Our employees volunteer their time and serve in several organizations throughout Jacksonville.