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A Note about Extreme Cold Weather
The recent extreme cold weather in Texas has caused understandable concern in other communities around the country. If power reliability can be so impacted in Texas, what about where we live as a JEA customer? To ensure our electric and water system infrastructure can withstand such extreme freezing temperatures, JEA will create a task force to study potential effects and plan appropriate safeguards to ensure the resiliency of our utility systems when you depend on them the most.
As a community-owned, not-for-profit utility, JEA works hard to provide reliable services in an environmentally friendly way at a fair price. To us, reliability means when you wake up on a cold morning and turn up the heat or take a hot shower, the power is there for you – and everyone else in our four-county service territory. It means in August, when the temperature is 95 degrees and the humidity makes it feel higher still, you can relax in air conditioning with a cool drink to watch TV.
Electric power takes planning and maintenance on a grand scale. And it requires vigilant compliance with federal rules, laws, regulation and industry standards. Our reliability record is one of the best in the industry, in part because we are diligent about responsible tree trimming. We also employ the latest technologies not just to maintain – but to improve – our reliability record. And we are among the best utilities in the nation when it comes to compliance with Reliability Standards.
The Price of a Power Pole
Utility poles are the backbone of JEA’s electric infrastructure. In FY16, JEA inspected more than 18,000 distribution poles and replaced some 3,500 of them. Just one wooden pole and the hardware attached to it costs about $1,680. With 120,000 wooden and concrete poles in our city, that amounts to a sizable investment in electric infrastructure and doesn’t even include our investment in high voltage transmission lines!
Wooden poles such as the one above are found on most residential streets in Jacksonville. Match the number to the list below to see how much each pole can cost.
- Pole: $300
- Transformer: $850
- Animal Guard: $6
- Animal Guard: $13
- Crossarm: $150
- Lightning Arrestor: $45
- Switch Bracket: $70
- Fuse Cutout: $75
- Secondary Line: $100
CEMI-4 & CEMI-5
We use a lot of acronyms in the utility business and CEMI-4 and CEMI-5 are a couple of the big ones. These acronyms stand for Customers Experiencing More than 4 Interruptions of one minute or more in the past 12 months.and Customers Experiencing More than 5 Interruptions of one minute or more in the past 12 months, respectively.
Once we get that CEMI-5 metric in hand, we target a fix to improve a customer’s electric reliability. This often includes tree trimming.
JEA must comply with strict federal reliability standards or be fined up to $1 million per day. Understand those standards and why there is a need for them.
Reducing Outages Due to Lightning
Since 2012, JEA has replaced 70 miles of static wire in approximately 15 high voltage transmission circuits. The static wire protects the phase conductor from direct lightning strikes, which reduces circuit outages and equipment damage.
JEA's Brandy Branch electricity generating plant improves reliability with planned outages. Planned outages help technicians find small problems before they become big ones.
Planned Outages - Why They Are Necessary
We understand that power outages are never convenient for customers. Occasionally, temporary planned power outages are required so that JEA and/or our contractors can safely complete repairs, maintenance or reliability improvements to the electric system.
Initially during the Covid-19 response as schools became virtual and more customers began working from home, we took the approach of suspending most of the planned projects that would require a temporary electric outage. Construction and electric reliability work continue throughout JEA’s service territory and the United States during the Covid-19 crisis. We have recently resumed work on these very important reliability projects and as a result, are scheduling more temporary planned electric outages.
- These projects are generally the result of our crews and/or engineers identifying a specific issue that might cause unplanned (prolonged) electric outages in the near future.
- By being proactive, we are able to provide timely notice to our customers and prevent prolonged, unplanned electric outages.
- For safety reasons for both our crew members and our customers, work on the electric system is generally performed during daylight hours whenever possible.
- In addition to working on planned electric projects, our crews also respond to restore power during unplanned electric outages and provide mutual-aid to areas impacted by major storms.
- For these reasons, we are not always able to schedule our crews for planned power outage work on weekends or holidays.
- JEA works to provide enough time prior to these planned outages so that our customers can proactively plan ahead and make any adjustments to their daily activities.
- However, sometimes the nature of our work requires that we complete the repair or maintenance quickly and therefore an advance notice is not possible.
- Our crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to complete the project and restore power in a timely manner.
- In most cases, the scheduled power outages are shorter than the estimated duration time forecasted.