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Moody’s upgrades JEA ratings for water/wastewater and district energy systems

Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded Florida public power utility JEA’s water/wastewater and district energy systems senior and subordinated bond ratings and financial outlook in its latest rating action, JEA reported on Sept. 29.

The new rating action upgrades JEA’s water/wastewater system senior bond ratings to Aa3 from A2 and the district energy (chilled water) system bond rating to A1 from A3.

JEA has more than $1.3 billion in debt in the water, wastewater and district energy systems “and these credit rating upgrades will help keep JEA’s borrowing costs low for all of its customers,” the utility said.

“The stable outlook reflects that financial operations will remain stable and that new, permanent management will be implemented in the near term and will promote prudent fiscal management,” Moody’s said.

Moody’s also highlighted the recent resolution agreement between JEA and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) over the Vogtle Generation Plant Power Purchase Agreement, strong debt service, credit strengths, and proper governance as some of the reasons for these upgrades. 

“These bond upgrades from Moody’s signal a renewed confidence in JEA’s new board, senior leadership team, and employees,” JEA Interim Managing Director and CEO Paul McElroy said in a statement. “We will continue with our efforts to move JEA forward to set a positive financial course for the future of JEA and its customers.”

Moody’s also noted that JEA is not susceptible to immediate material credit risks associated with the coronavirus “given its diverse economy and strong recent revenue collections.”