City of Ocala announces new Ocala Electric Utility director

OEU Director Doug Peebles [Image supplied.]

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Posted April 8, 2022 | By James Blevins

The City of Ocala, along with Ocala Electric Utility (OEU), announced on Feb. 23 that Doug Peebles would be the new director for OEU. Peebles served as deputy director since May 2021. He accepted the role of director in January 2022.

“I am honored to accept the director position at OEU,” said Peebles to the “Gazette” on March 29. “Ocala/Marion County is a very special place, and many great people call it home. Being part of this community and serving our customers—which are in many cases our neighbors, family and friends—brings a sense of ownership and pride in what I do.”

With 21 years of experience in the utility industry, including roles in Transmission & Distribution, Revenue Metering and Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Peebles has been responsible for Engineering, Resource Management, AMI Operations, System Control Center and Substation/Relay Divisions.

Peebles said that his six-month priorities stepping into the new position include: continuing to promote a safety culture, furthering improvements to training programs, enhancing the quality of place for customers and employees, and planning for the challenges of the future.

Over the last few years, there has been a national shortage of qualified electrical lineman—one of the most mission-critical jobs in keeping the lights on in America. Peebles said that so far Ocala has had only a brief experience with such shortages, adding that such shortages are now a thing of the past.

“We are adequately staffed to maintain the high-quality service our community is accustomed to,” he said. “Our training programs, safety culture and our sense of community are three of the most valued reasons our employees choose to be on the OEU team.”

Peebles oversight of OEU, includes Transmission & Distribution, Construction, AMI Operations, Public Education and Outreach, Resource Management, Substations, Engineering, System Operations and Power Compliance.

He graduated from Ocala’s Apprenticeship Program as an FDOE State Certified Meter Technician. Peebles is also a graduate of Leadership Ocala/Marion, Class XXVIII (LOM).

Peebles currently serves on the LOM and Leadership Ocala/Marion Youth (LOMY) Board of Regents, chairs the Ocala’s Apprenticeship Committee the City of Ocala’s General Pension Board.

Ultimately, Peebles says he aims to keep OEU firmly footed on the path he feels it has been treading since the beginning.

“We will continue to provide quality service to our customers as we focus on safety and training, fiscal responsibility and reliability,” he said.