LCEC been recognized as a Certified Center of Excellence for the fourth consecutive year by the industry leader in contact center benchmarking, certification, training, assessments, industry reports and custom consulting, BenchmarkPortal (BMP). The Center of Excellence recognition is one of the most prestigious awards in the customer service and support industry.
According to BMP, LCEC stands out from other utilities because:
• 192 companies are in BMPs Utilities Database
• 76 are energy re-seller
• 83 are investor owned
• 33 are municipalities
• Only five other energy utility companies nationwide are certified as a Center of Excellence
• LCEC is the only cooperative certified as a Center of Excellence
Contact centers achieve the Center of Excellence distinction based on best-practice metrics drawn from the world’s largest database of objective and quantitative data that is audited and validated by researchers from BMP. For more information on this certification, visit www.benchmarkportal.com/call-center-certification.
October is the perfect time to tackle “energy vampires” and “phantom loads.” Although these vampires and phantoms don’t have teeth or fly around making scary noises, they can cause your electric bill to be a bit frightening! Electrically speaking, “energy vampires” and “phantom loads” mean the same thing. These terms are meant to describe appliances and electronics that are left plugged-in even when they are not in use. These items literally drain electricity all-day, every-day. Even scarier than the idea of these energy villains is the fact that most Americans have at least 20 “energy vampires” or “phantom loads” in their home right now! While these vampires only add pennies to your electric bill, awareness and conservation will make an impact on both your electric bill and your carbon footprint! Tackling these little monsters is as simple as unplugging things such as phone chargers, coffeemakers, and toasters when they are not being used. While it is important to unplug unused appliances and electronics while you are away for extended periods of time like vacation, it is equally important to do it on a daily basis before you leave for work or school. So as you get in the spirit of the season, consider slaying those “energy vampires” in your home! For more tips on conserving electricity, visit www.lcec.net.
Storm season does not technically end until November 30. In fact, the latter part of storm season is typically the most active part. If you haven’t already created an emergency kit and plan, now is the time. Below are some helpful tips to help techies weather the storm:
Charge your devices and conserve power:
• Invest in must-haves for when the power is out. This includes board games and battery-powered radios. These two items will keep you entertained and informed without having to use your mobile devices. There are even battery-powered radios with USB ports which could charge your techie gadgets!
• Prepare for extended power outages. Making adjustments to conserve power on mobile devices such as phones can help your charge last much longer. Some helpful adjustments for your phone include checking for software updates, turning off notifications and lower’s your screens brightness.
• Keep your laptop charged so it can potentially charge your other mobile devices.
• Utilize your car charger…sparingly. Gas stations might not be open following a major storm.
• Invest in a solar charger for your mobile devices.
Preparation is key in storm season and year-round. For more tips on prepping for storm season, visit www.lcec.net.
LCEC has a solid restoration plan that was tested during preparation for Hurricane Matthew, which was predicted to impact Southwest Florida. The LCEC system fared well and the impact was so minor that contract crews were sent to help in other areas early this morning.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes for storm preparation. Materials management, fleet and fuel logistics, around-the-clock staffing planning, lodging for out-of-town crews, and much more. LCEC employees and contractors were poised and ready for whatever Matthew might bring and additional resources were brought in from Georgia.
As breezes blew through on Thursday evening only a few minor outages occurred and power was restored quickly. By Friday morning, the LCEC customer service agents received two phone calls between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
All-in-all, it was a good test of LCEC’s restoration plan. Hopefully, there will not be a need to implement again this storm season but Matthew’s final destination is uncertain at this time so the LCEC team is watching closely and will be ready again if needed.
Having a post-storm plan is crucial to staying safe during a hurricane. The cooperation of residents is critical to the success of the electrical restoration process.
Following are some tips to remember while formulating your post-storm plan:
• Stay clear of downed power lines. They may still be energized and dangerous. Puddles of water contacting downed lines are just as dangerous.
• Help keep LCEC’s telephone lines clear for emergency calls. Only call to report downed power lines. However, if your neighbor’s power has been restored and you are without electricity, please call.
• If your home is served by underground service, check your meter box and pipes for damage.
• Visually check your weather-head (on the roof where your service drop connects to the pole) and your meter box to make sure it is not damaged.
• Don’t trim trees or remove debris located near downed power lines. If you must remove debris from your home, don’t pile it under or near electrical lines or equipment.
• Any damage to your home’s electric system must be repaired by a licensed electrician and inspected by a designated agency before power can be restored.
• If operating a portable generator, keep it in an open area. Carbon monoxide emissions can be harmful. Follow all instructions regarding safe operation. Do not connect the generator directly to your main electrical panel. If installed incorrectly, power could flow into outside lines and injure you, your neighbors or utility crews working in the area.
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