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 30,000 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 be good stewards of the unique Florida Keys environment.
Integrity – We will act objectively, unselfishly, responsibly, honestly, ethically and efficiently for the good of the organization and our community.
Relationships – We value our customers, our community, and our workforce; and we will treat everyone with respect, fairness and equality; and we will foster open communications.
Innovation – We will pursue technology and ideas to improve our service at the lowest reasonable cost.
Goals & Strategies – 2023-2025
Goal #1 – Provide reliable electric service that exceeds industry standards
Strengthen the transmission system by fortifying the infrastructure and collaborating with FMPA to solve transmission concerns
Enhance reliability best practices and storm hardening of the distribution system
Successfully start Stock Island generating units when called on to operate and improve the availability factor of units
Measure, monitor and improve KEYS’ cybersecurity maturity
Goal #2 – Provide exceptional customer service and contribute value-added benefits to our community
Maintain high levels of customer satisfaction
Benchmark KEYS’ customer service programs to identify opportunities
Inform customers about changing fuel prices and provide information to help reduce electric bills
Enhance and communicate KEYS’ value to the community
Goal #3 – Provide affordable electricity at the lowest reasonable rates
Increase reserve funds to respond to natural disasters and limit financial stress
Evaluate benefits, costs, risks, options and timelines to prioritize major initiatives
Pursue federal funding opportunities
Develop options to reduce customer’s energy usage
Goal #4 – Maintain a highly effective workforce and foster a positive, safe working environment
Maintain a safety-first culture
Expand training and development programs to prepare internal candidates for promotional opportunities
Ensure KEYS remains competitive in the employment market
Enhance communication among departments and between union and management
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 served on the Board of the Key West Chamber of Commerce for 16 years and remains active on Chamber committees.
Mr. Dan Sabino, Assistant General Manager and Director of Engineering & Control, has been employed by the utility since January 2006, most recently as Director of Engineering & Control, prior to being appointed Assistant General Manager and Director of Engineering & Control in August 2021. 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). Additionally, he is responsible for overseeing KEYS’ Fleets and Facilities sections and filling in for the General Manager & CEO in her absence. Mr. Sabino holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
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. Jesse Perloff, Director of Finance & CFO, has been employed by the utility since September 2015, most recently as Supervisor of Accounting & Analysis prior to being appointed Director of Finance & CFO in August 2021. Mr. Perloff is responsible for Finance, Purchasing, and the Warehouse. He is active in the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) serving on the Finance Committee. Mr. Perloff has 20-years of accounting experience in both the private and public sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Finance, from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Perloff is an active volunteer and former Board member for the local region of the American Youth Soccer Organization.
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 Municipal Electric Association’s (FMEA) Florida Public Power Communicators Committee and was named FMEA’s 2021 Member of the Year. Mr. Torrado also serves 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.