FMPA Copes with Hurricane Katrina’s Impact, but Power Conservation is Encouraged
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 1, 2005 – Florida Municipal Power Agency continues to meet customers’ power needs, despite Hurricane Katrina’s disruption of the production of natural gas, a common fuel for power plants, but power conservation continues to be strongly encouraged for all electric customers statewide.
FMPA is a wholesale power company owned by municipal electric utilities in Florida. FMPA provides all the wholesale power needs of the cities of Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala, Starke and Vero Beach.
Hurricane Katrina has shut down many of the natural gas production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, decreasing the supply of natural gas fuel to electric utilities throughout Florida. At this time it is difficult to assess when natural gas supply levels will return to normal.
Approximately 30% to 35% of electricity statewide comes from natural gas-fueled power plants. FMPA and two other municipal utilities, Lakeland Electric and Orlando Utilities Commission, are working together to use this limited fuel supply in the most efficient manner possible.
FMPA expects to continue fully serving its customers’ power needs, assuming that power plants statewide continue to operate reliably. However, due to the limited availability of back-up power, also known as reserve power, statewide, customers of all Florida’s electric utilities are being asked to conserve electricity.
Customers can reduce their power use by taking the following steps:
- Adjust thermostat settings for air conditioning to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, if health permits; keep temperature readings constant until notified that the energy shortage has passed.
- Close curtains and blinds to help insulate homes and buildings against cooling loss.
- Avoid using room air conditioners; turn them off when you leave the room or home.
- Turn off electric water heaters at the circuit breaker.
- Reduce use of all non-essential electric appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes dryers, especially during the late afternoon or early evening.
- Turn off all non-essential lighting and electric appliances, such as pool pumps.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room or when they aren’t needed.
- Keep cooking and bathing to a minimum, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
- Leave refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Cook outdoors, use a microwave oven or prepare cold meals to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.
- For cooking, use small appliances like a toaster oven or electric skillet. On average, they use half the energy of a full-size oven.
Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 29 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately 1.8 million Floridians. FMPA’s members include Alachua, Bartow, Bushnell, Chattahoochee, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Homestead, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Lakeland, Leesburg, Moore Haven, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Newberry, Ocala, Orlando, Quincy, St. Cloud, Starke, Vero Beach, Wauchula and Williston. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.fmpa.com.