Keys Energy Services (KEYS) is the public power utility for the Lower Florida Keys. Headquartered in Key West, Florida, KEYS provides electricity from Key West to the Seven-Mile Bridge and serves more than 28,000 customers.
The City of Key West purchased the electric utility in 1943, and the City Council created the Utility Board to oversee KEYS (then known as City Electric System before the utility’s name was changed in 2002). In 1969, the Florida State Legislature passed a new enabling act for the governing of KEYS, which is still in effect today and calls for the popular election of five Utility Board members serving four-year terms. Through the Utility Board, KEYS’ customers have a say in their municipal electric utility.
Initially, KEYS only provided electric service to the City of Key West. In 1953, the utility expanded its service area to the Seven-Mile Bridge. In those early years, electricity was produced via local generation.
In the late 1970s, the Utility Board studied alternative power supplies and decided to construct a transmission line (or TIELINE) to interconnect to the mainland power grid. On May 8, 1987, KEYS interconnected the TIELINE with the mainland power grid and KEYS’ operations changed dramatically.
KEYS currently imports nearly all of its power supply and uses local generation for emergency backup and voltage support. The utility relies on power from the mainland because it is far less expensive than local generation. As a member of the Florida Municipal Power Agency’s All Requirements Project, KEYS pools its power resources with other public power utilities in the State. Together, the public power utilities in the state of Florida enjoy greater efficiency and economies of scale.
Today, KEYS is a nationally recognized Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) by the American Public Power Association and a local leader with GREEN initiatives that help conserve energy and improve the environment. KEYS maintains a highly respected position within its local community and in the Public Power industry, for its dedication to reliable electric service and forward-thinking initiatives – KEYS customers have come to expect nothing less than the best from the utility that has been powering paradise since 1943.