LAKELAND, Fla. (July 2, 2020) – Customers who mailed a check or money order to Lakeland Electric over the past seven days will not see their payments posted to their utility accounts or posted to their bank account. Checks or money orders mailed to Lakeland Electric are processed by the Polk County Tax Collector, which was affected by a targeted computer virus on June 23. The computer virus delayed the payment file transfers to the utility. Payment file transfers to Lakeland Electric resumed today, and payments are estimated to be posted to customers’ utility accounts and bank accounts by Monday, July 6.
Checks and money orders represent about 35% of Lakeland Electric’s monthly payments. All cuts for non-payment have been suspended until July 5, and Lakeland Electric has suspended all late fees until October 1, 2020.
As customers head into the holiday weekend, they should be aware that their utility bill payment may not have been posted to their bank account. Lakeland Electric is working hard to update customer accounts quickly and accurately now that payment information is available.
LAKELAND, Fla. (June 30, 2020) – Lakeland Electric’s customers will begin receiving redesigned utility bills on July 1. The biggest change customers who receive multiple utility services will notice is a new City of Lakeland Utilities logo at the top of their bill. Electric-only customers will continue to see the Lakeland Electric logo at the top of the bill.
The new bill is designed to improve readability, make it easier for customers to distinguish between utility service costs, and draw customers’ focus to crucial information. In preparation for this project, Lakeland Electric examined utility bills from across the country and participated in a national utility benchmarking study of bill redesign. The utility implemented the study’s key takeaways into their bill redesign by using colors and graphs and limiting text. The redesign project was completed with no increase in production cost.
Customers’ due date and amount due are now prominently displayed in a red box on the top right corner of the bill. A donut graph on the first page creates a visual breakdown of each service for multi-service accounts or service tiers for single service accounts. Customers’ bill details, including annual usage graph, customer charges, fees, surcharges, and taxes, will now appear on the second page of the bill. Customers will also benefit from seeing important messages appear prominently on the bill.
“As Lakeland’s locally owned utility, we are constantly working to improve the customer experience,” said Dave Kus, Lakeland Electric Assistant General Manager of Customer Service.
“We’ve worked to design this bill to serve all of our customers’ needs, whether customers prefer to take a cursory glance or they want a detailed description of their utility usage.”
Lakeland Electric conducted a customer survey in February to help determine the final bill design. Overall design, ease of finding information, and readability survey questions all scored very high. Customer comments included “Best design of a bill,” and “Good job on the redesign. Thumbs up.”
We’ve redesigned our bills to make it easier than ever to understand your bill. We examined utility bills from across the country and participated in a national utility benchmarking study of bill redesign projects. To make a great bill design, we gathered their best practices and added a little Lakeland spin to make it stand out.
The biggest change is a new City of Lakeland Utilities logo for customers who receive multiple services like water, wastewater, solid waste, recycling, etc. The new donut graph breaks down your electric, water, and other services in a single glance. Our electric-only customers will still receive a bill with a Lakeland Electric logo. Your donut graph will show your electric usage by tier.
We’ve used colors and graphs to draw your focus to key information. By limiting the text to essential information, we’ve improved the readability. Luckily, you’re keeping some of the lowest electric rates in the State of Florida, so the only thing that changes on your bill is the way it looks. We’ve worked hard to design this bill to serve all of our customers’ needs, whether you just want to take a cursory glance or if you want a detailed description of your utility usage.
Before rolling out the new bill design, we asked customers to help us select the final bill design through a customer survey. You spoke, and we listened. Customers said this design was easy to read and easy to find information.
Want to dig deeper into your energy usage? View your bill online at https://lakelandelectric.com/MyAccount and click data tools to get down to the minute data on your usage. Use the overlays to see how the temperature affects your bill total and much more.
As your locally owned utility, we never stop working to improve your experience. We are proud of our new bill, and we hope you’ll like it too.
LAKELAND, Fla. (June 10, 2020) – Lakeland Electric earned the 2020 Energy Innovator Award (EIA) from the American Public Power Association's (APPA) Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) program. The EIA award honors utilities that have developed or applied creative, energy-efficient techniques and technologies. Awards recognize creativity, resource efficiency, benefits to utility customers, transferability, and project scope in relation to utility size. The award was presented virtually during APPA's Public Power Connect Virtual Summit.
The Damage Assessment Restoration Toolset (DARTS) was designed by Lakeland Electric and City of Lakeland employees. It utilizes existing Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Geographic Information System applications in conjunction with customized dashboards developed in-house, to create an easy mobile solution for all facets of damage assessment and data collection. DARTS captures location, image and expense data required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for cost reimbursement utilizing a built-in program manager application to coordinate and update collections. The entire platform works in conjunction with GIS data and maps and is integrated with Lakeland Electric's workforce management products to coordinate work orders and employee time. The toolset works on any mobile device, with or without wi-fi or wireless networks, to enable field crews to input real-time damage assessment information while at the worksite.
"Lakeland Electric is honored to receive this award," said Joel Ivy, Lakeland Electric General Manager. "We're proud of our employee's innovation, expertise, and their commitment to improving our customer's quality of life. We know that restoring power quickly following storm events matters to our customers. This tool helps us get the right resources to the right locations quickly and it streamlines our data collection to help us keep recovery costs low."
The Lakeland Electric Damage Assessment Restoration Toolset has been featured in the Florida Municipal Electric Association's Relay magazine, APPA's Public Power Daily, Lakeland's The Ledger newspaper, Government Technology magazine, WFTS ABC Action News Tampa Bay, Polk County Government TV and on ESRI's website. The application has also received praise from City of Lakeland elected officials.
About American Public Power Association: The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. We represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. Our association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Our members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power.
About Lakeland Electric: Lakeland Electric is the third-largest public power utility in the State of Florida, serving 131,000 customers with production capability of over 1100 Megawatts. The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida, having started operation in 1889 and then purchased by the City of Lakeland in 1904. Today Lakeland Electric's 246 square mile territory serves the City of Lakeland and its environs with affordable, dependable, and sustainable electric power.
P.O. Box 32006
Lakeland, FL 33802-2006
501 East Lemon Street
Lakeland, FL 33801-5079
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