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 back-up only. 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.
Provide safe, reliable energy with excellent customer service at the lowest reasonable cost
Enrich our customers’ lives by providing energy services in a safe, reliable, affordable, sustainable manner while exploring new avenues to benefit our community
Safety – Safety is number one in everything we do.
Environment – We will take steps to care for the unique Florida Keys environment and our planet.
Integrity – We expect honest and ethical conduct from all employees, vendors and board members.
Relationships – We value our customers, our community and our workforce. We will treat everyone withrespect, fairness and equality and foster open communications.
Simplicity – We will look for the most simple, efficient means to accomplish our goals.
Innovation – We will pursue new technology and ideas to improve our service.
Goals & Strategies – 2020-2022
Goal #1 – Continually improve the Customer Experience regarding Reliability and Service
Execute projects that fortify KEYS aging transmission system
Accelerate KEYS distribution storm hardening project
Maintain High Levels of Customer Satisfaction
Increase direct customer contacts
Goal #2 – Provide the lowest reasonable rates to our customers in a challenging environment
Aggressively pursue Hurricane Irma FEMA reimbursement
Effectively manage bond proceeds
Goal #3 – Maintain a highly effective workforce and foster a positive working environment
Develop a succession plan to address retirements in the three-year horizon
Cultivate a “well” employee
Foster a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment
Goal #4 – Reduce Reliance on fossil fuels
Establish a KEYS Solar Goal
Develop an Electric Vehicle Program
Expand Customer Conservation Education Efforts
Reliable Public Power Provider
KEYS is one of 94 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.
The RP3 recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, training, and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
Keys Energy History
Keys Energy Services is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. If you require any functionality or specific accommodation which you find is not immediately provided for on the website, please contact us so that we may promptly address your individual needs.
Visit the Key West Historic Marker Tour website for additional information about the origins of electricity in Key West. A free audio walking tour is also available by calling (305) 507-0300 and selecting the 22nd marker.
Mrs. Lynne E. Tejeda, General Manager & CEO, has been employed by the utility since January 1989, most recently as Assistant General Manager & COO, prior to being appointed General Manager & CEO in December 2005. Mrs. Tejeda is responsible for the day-to-day management of the utility, implementing the decisions of the Utility Board with respect to utility operations, and keeping the Board informed of the status of the utility. Mrs. Tejeda is active in the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) serving as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and of the Board of Directors. She is also active with the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), where she is a Past President. She was named FMEA’s 2017 Member of the Year. Mrs. Tejeda participates in the American Public Power Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors. In 2013 she was awarded the association’s Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service award. Mrs. Tejeda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Journalism, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Tejeda is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University and a graduate of the Berkeley Executive Leadership Program. Mrs. Tejeda is currently serving on the Board of the Key West Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. John ‘Jack’ Wetzler, Assistant General Manager & CFO, has been employed by the utility since April 1992, most recently as Director of Finance and CFO, prior to being appointed Assistant General Manager & CFO in December 2005. Mr. Wetzler is responsible for Finance, Information Technology, Fleets, Facilities, Purchasing and the Warehouse. He is active in the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) serving on the Planning & Budget Committee. Mr. Wetzler has been employed as the Vice President of Finance for several New York-based firms, including Caswell Massey, Ltd., D.F. Sanders & Company, and Concord Limousine Services. He began his career with Coopers & Lybrand, CPA’s (currently known as PricewaterhouseCoopers). Mr. Wetzler holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Hofstra University. Mr. Wetzler serves as an Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Minister and Lector for The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church.
Mr. Nick Batty, Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, has been employed by the utility since January 2019. He is responsible for coordinating all legal activities within KEYS and serving as the principal legal officer and key adviser to the CEO and other senior management members. Mr. Batty holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Journalism, and a Juris Doctor, both from the University of Florida.
Mr. Fred Culpepper, Director of Transmission & Distribution, has been employed by the utility since September 1990, most recently as Power System Control Supervisor, prior to being appointed to Director of Transmission & Distribution in December 2015. Mr. Culpepper is responsible for all personnel in the Line and the Electrical sections as well as all electrical facilities and substations. Mr. Culpepper is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University.
Mr. Dan Sabino, Director of Engineering, has been employed by the utility since January 2006. In his tenure at KEYS, Mr. Sabino has held various positions in the Engineering, Transmission and Distribution, and Generation Departments. Prior to working for KEYS, Mr. Sabino was a Principal Engineer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Mr. Sabino is responsible for both the Engineering Section (oversees the design/maintenance of the utility’s electrical T&D infrastructure) and the System Control Center (24-hour a day manned control center for the monitoring of the utility’s electrical grid, and the dispatching of system trouble calls). Mr. Sabino holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Julio J. Torrado, Director of Human Resources & Communications, has been employed by the utility since October 2003, most recently as Communications/Marketing Coordinator, prior to being appointed Director of Human Resources & Communications in December 2015. Mr. Torrado is responsible for overseeing KEYS’ human resources administration, coordinating communication and marketing strategies for KEYS’ customers, and overseeing internal communications for KEYS’ employees. Mr. Torrado holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication – with a double-major in Public Relations and International Studies and a minor in Marketing – from the University of Miami, and a Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in Human Resources Management, from Saint Leo University. He is active with the American Public Power Association, having served as Chair of the Customer Connections Conference and its Customer Communications Committee. In recognition for his service to the association he was awarded the Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award in 2020. Mr. Torrado has also helped KEYS win numerous awards and accolades over the years for excellence in communications and marketing strategies, including the prestigious Bronze Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America. Mr. Torrado currently serves as Chair of the Florida Public Power Communicators Roundtable and on the boards of Wesley House Family Services, Tropic Cinema, and the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation. In recognition of his dedication to local volunteerism, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist named him as a “Point of Light” in 2009.
Mr. Joe Weldon, Director of Generation, has been employed by the utility since March 2018. Mr. Weldon has over 30 years’ experience in engineering, operations, maintenance and testing within the defense, oil & gas, telecommunication, and power generation utility industries. His current responsibilities include the management of KEYS’ generation facility. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Maritime College, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Mrs. Erica Zarate, Director of Customer Services, has been employed by the utility since July 2005, most recently as Collections Supervisor, prior to being appointed to Director of Customer Services on October 2014. Mrs. Zarate is responsible for Collections, Customer Services, Customer Programs, and Meter Services. Mrs. Zarate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from St. Leo University. Mrs. Zarate also completed the Penn Foster Meterman apprenticeship.