24,000 JEA Customers Behind On Payments During Disconnection Suspension

Apr 28, 2020

JEA Chief Customer Officer Kerri Stewart said at a board meeting Tuesday that 24,000 customers are behind in their utility payments.

Stewart said 40% of those customers are on a pre-pay plan, and the average amount owed from that group is $78. 

“To give you a little context, an average day in non-COVID times, you'd normally see about 2000 accounts eligible for disconnect,” Stewart said. 

Stewart and other JEA officials said they are going to continue working with customers on payment plans and waiving convenience fees on credit card payments. 

When JEA lifts its suspensions on disconnections, Stewart said they will give customers three weeks notice to prepare. 

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Overall, the utility is preparing for a 10% reduction in sales, with a more in-depth analysis of the potential impacts of the pandemic coming at a later date. 

Interim Chief Financial Officer Joe Orfano told the board the average JEA residential customer’s electricity bill is $123.34, and that average will rise to $134.79 by 2024. That’s roughly an increase of 2.2%.

So far, 15 JEA employees have been tested for COVID-19, and only one has tested positive, according to Stewart.  Another is awaiting results. 

The board will hold additional meetings where they’ll get updated on the new downtown campus, and begin the process of finding a search firm they’ll hire to narrow down candidates for the next CEO.

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage