On Friday, the Kissimmee Utility Authority celebrated 123 years as a municipally-owned electric service in Kissimmee.

The journey began on June 28, 1901, when the Kissimmee City Council passed a resolution authorizing the city’s purchase of the Kissimmee Electric Light Company from W.C. Maynard for $4,293.59. Maynard, a resident of Kissimmee, had been operating the private power company under contract with the city since December 4, 1900. After the purchase, the council appointed a committee to manage the electric system.

KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility and the fifth oldest municipal utility in the state, following Starke (1890), Jacksonville (1895), Ocala (1897), and Williston (1900). Kissimmee residents began enjoying the benefits of electricity 22 years before their neighbors to the north in Orlando, who did not have electricity until 1923.

The utility’s first purchase was a 15-kilowatt generator in 1901, which was sufficient to power 150 100-watt lightbulbs or 13 coffeemakers. In the 1920s, KUA expanded by adding three diesel generators to serve approximately 200 electric customers in Kissimmee.

Founded in 1901, KUA now powers 93,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida, making it the sixth largest community-owned utility in the state. For more information, visit www.kua.com