The American Public Gas Association (APGA) presented Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) with the prestigious APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) for excellence in operating its natural gas utility. Public natural gas systems are entrusted by their customers to deliver clean and affordable natural gas through a safe and reliable distribution pipeline system. To accomplish this mission, a forward thinking natural gas utility constantly strives to improve its operating capabilities, overcome challenges and adapt to its changing environment.  Out of approximately 750 APGA members, JEA was selected for SOAR level GOLD by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. The selection was based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.  

“We are proud of the service we provide to our customers,” said Jim Ferrell, JEA’s President and CEO.  “Our employees work hard every day to provide the safest, most reliable natural gas services to homes, businesses and industries in our community”.  “We take great pride in our ability to deliver natural gas safely and efficiently to all of our customers” said Braxton Williams, Senior Vice President of Gas Distribution at JEA.  “This SOAR recognition is attributed to our exceptional team of employees who always go above and beyond in providing exceptional natural gas service to our community.”

System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively—distributing energy to all customers without being degraded or impaired by its internal or external environment. System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up-to-date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future through research and development, technology integration and a commitment to system improvement programs. Systems that exhibit excellence in employee safety include adopting a safety program that includes policies and procedures for education involvement and accountability for all employees, as well as tracking safety performance. Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety and productivity. 

APGA President and CEO Dave Schryver remarked, “JEA was highly rated in all four areas that are required of SOAR. JEA consistently demonstrates a commitment to providing natural gas safely and efficiently to all those in their community and as such, serves as a model for all other natural gas utilities in the country. APGA is proud to recognize JEA and is confident in their continued success.”   JEA was one of fourteen SOAR recipients recognized in 2022, joining the 43 previous SOAR award recipients. The system also received a plaque signifying Jackson Energy Authority’s commitment to and achievement in excellence in operating a natural gas utility system. 

Pictured above is Mark Welch - Gas Distribution Superintendent; Jared Smith - Gas System Engineer; Braxton Williams - Senior Vice President Gas Division; Jim Ferrell - President & CEO; Alex Taylor - Gas Operations Engineer; and Robert Mullins - Vice President Operations.