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- 2012 - March - 21st -

JEA preps for new website

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

JEA is preparing to roll out a new Internet presence in April and its board previewed the new JEA.com on Tuesday.

“There are over 50 employees that have contributed to the success of the new JEA.com,” said Robyn Watson, director of Technology Services Projects for JEA.

“This project is really about building the foundation,” she said.

Watson told the JEA board at its monthly meeting that the utility has the flexibility to enhance the website for customers to make more transactions and find information.

The website should be available for customers April 4. It will allow customers to pay bills, request an extension, report a service problem or enroll in eBill, said Watson.

The updated website will include a “How to Lower my Bill” button that allows customers to interact with a JEA employee.

“Where it says ‘how to lower my bill,’ is there a chart or graph that shows what my utility bills have been ... so when you have those conversations with your family about keeping the lights on all the time, you can have that in front of you?” asked Mike Hightower, board vice chairman.

Watson explained that usage graphs are part of the new website. She also said customers can view the site on their mobile phones.

JEA will begin testing the website today and will survey customers a week after the public release of the site to monitor the response to the new design.

“One of our fears about rolling out a new website to the public is that you get hackers out there,” said Jim Dickenson, JEA managing director and CEO. “Security is a big piece of it as well and that’s part of business.”

The JEA board also changed leadership. The gavel was passed to new board Chairman Ashton Hudson by outgoing chair Ron Townsend.

Hudson is president and general counsel for Rock Creek Capital, an asset management organization headquartered in Jacksonville.

He is responsible for general legal oversight and compliance, as well as assisting in the negotiation and structuring of Rock Creek’s real estate and private equity investments.

The business owns investment properties in 12 states. His board term expires Feb. 28, 2013.

Townsend served in the position in 2008 and 2009. His current four-year term as a board member expires Feb. 28, 2015.

Townsend also is trustee of the University of North Florida, a member of the Guardian Catholic Schools and serves on the board of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

He is a director of Rayonier and was appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board and served as chair from 2002-2003.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

356-2466

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