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Auto accidents involving power lines

Auto accidents involving power lines

Accidents happen. Knowing what to do if your vehicle comes in contact with a power pole could save your life or the life of a loved one. Below are key things to remember:

Stay in car:
If your car comes in contact with a power pole/line, do NOT leave the car. Your car and the surrounding area of the accident scene could be energized. If you leave the car, you could become the electricity’s path to the ground which could result in serious injury or death from electric shock. It is equally important to not allow bystanders to help as they could be seriously injured or killed.

Dial 911:
Call 911 immediately who will alert the responsible utility. Both will come to your aid ASAP!

Wait for the OK:
Do not exit your car until a utility or emergency worker gives you the OK. The only reason to exit your car is if it on fire. If your car is on fire, jump clear of the vehicle with your feet together and hop away with your feet remaining together.

Remain calm:
Accidents are horrible. Do your best to remain calm and listen to the instructions of the emergency and utility personnel. The more upset and frazzled you get, the worst the situation will be.

For more safety tips, visit lcec.net.

Cape Coral Franchise Ordinance Unanimously Approved

The journey to a renewed franchise agreement between LCEC and the City of Cape Coral has been a long and costly one beginning in 2015. A new agreement was unanimously approved tonight at the Cape Coral City Council meeting.

The Cape Coral City Council designated Mayor Coviello to lead negotiations on behalf of the City just prior to their summer break. The progress that he and LCEC CEO, Dennie Hamilton made in a very short time is a testament to what can be accomplished through collaboration and good faith.

With the common goal of executing a franchise agreement focused on the interests of both parties, the LCEC/Lee County franchise agreement was used as a base. Revisions to the term and franchise fee structure were agreed upon and the proposed agreement was finalized.

The LCEC Board of Trustees, at its September Board meeting last week, unanimously approved the acceptance of the franchise ordinance as it was negotiated and introduced to Cape Coral City Council on September 17 and approved this evening.

“I would like to express both my personal and the LCEC Board’s appreciation to the entire Council for unanimously designating the Mayor to lead the negotiations, and to Stuart Diamond, Joe Mazurkiewicz and Brian Rist for their efforts along the way to set the stage for the negotiations between Mayor Coviello and me,” Hamilton stated prior to the Council vote. “I would especially like to recognize and thank Mayor Coviello for his professional, well-reasoned, balanced and honest approach that allowed us to swiftly reach agreement without conflict,” Hamilton said during public comments.

Agreement Terms Highlights:
1. LCEC collects and pays franchise fees to the City of Cape Coral in exchange for the right and privilege to construct, operate, and maintain electric facilities in roads, streets, alleys, bridges, easements, rights-of-way and other public places with the City of Cape Coral.
2. The franchise fee will remain 3% of electric revenues for the first five years of the agreement. The fee can increase to 4.5% in the sixth year, and a maximum of 6% in the 10th year for the remainder of the agreement. If any other municipality receives a fee greater than 6%, the City of Cape Coral has the right to increase the fee if the benefits of the agreement match. The City can reduce the fee at any time during the agreement.
3. A 20 year agreement with an automatic 10-year extension unless either party provides written notification of intent to amend or terminate the agreement.
4. LCEC will continue to offer customer with qualified renewable energy systems an opportunity to sell excess energy back to LCEC. If the City has interest in exploring opportunities to participate in renewable energy projects or new technology, LCEC will engage in dialogue with the City and other parties as appropriate to determine the feasibility of new technologies.
5. The City of Cape Coral agrees not to distribute or sell electricity to LCEC customers and will not purchase electricity from a third party UNLESS PERMITTED BY LAW (such as in the case of electric deregulation). If the laws in Florida change resulting in deregulation of the electric utility industry and distribution is no longer determined by service territory, LCEC has 90 days to evaluate and match the terms of any third party and continue selling to the City of Cape Coral.

Registration Open for 7th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop for United Way

Registration is open for the 7th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k Walk/Run benefiting the United Way of Lee, Hendy, Glades, and Okeechobee Counties. This year’s race will be held at the Lee County Civic Center at 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917 on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 7:30 a.m. A Kids Fun Run for children 12 and under will immediately follow the 5k. Cost for ages 18+ is $25 before October 10 and $30 thereafter, $20 for ages 17-13 and $30 thereafter, and $15 for the Kids Fun Run. All 5k participants registered before October 10 will receive a race shirt and gift bag. All children registered before October 10 will receive a race shirt and ribbon. Participants who register after October 10 will receive shirts and bags as supplies last. Packet pickup will happen from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Smoothie King at 1806 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral, FL 33990. For race and sponsorship information, visit https://uw.lcec.net/SitePages/5k.aspx, https://www.athlinks.com/event/lcec-goblin-gallop-5k-for-united-way-240151, or call 239-656-2380.

LCEC provides five environmental funding awards

LCEC announced that it will provide Florida Gulf Coast University, ArtFest Fort Myers, Inc., Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), Sanibel Sea School and Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum with Environmental Funding Awards. More than $90,000 has been awarded since the program’s inception in 2014. To apply for this award, organizations can email pr@lcec.net to receive an application. Application deadlines for 2019 are March 15 and September 1. Interested organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including being located within LCEC service territory, funding utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry, and having a demonstrated need for funds. This funding award is just one of the many ways that LCEC positively impacts and supports wildlife and the environment.

The long road to new technology

More than a year ago, LCEC made the decision to replace all of its flagship systems with new technology. Many options were considered and all benefits were weighed. The transition to National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) technology was an easy choice to make. The collaboration integrates all of the LCEC systems and affords a working relationship that comes with more than 1,200 employees in four cities who provide service to more than 20 million utility and telecommunications consumers in all 50 states. Once implemented, the change will result in enhanced service and long-term cost savings.

For well over a year, the LCEC team has been mapping processes and planning for implementation. In spite of resources being diverted to Hurricane Irma restoration efforts, the plan is on schedule. On September 24, 2018 all the planning, training, and preparation will come to fruition. The new systems will bring customers more convenience, easier navigation, new options for managing electric bills and usage, mobile access, and a host of future enhanced features.

Some processes will change which is also one of the beauties of the new systems. The new systems have been designed with utility best practices and proven results in mind. Employees from LCEC and NISC have been working hard to make the transition as seamless as imaginable. There may be some bumps along the way, and LCEC has a rich history of resolving issues and finding solutions. Employees, supported by NISC, will work hard to address any issues that arise and continue to provide the best service possible.

What customers need to know:

During the transition – September 17-24

  • Paperless billing will not be available. All customers will receive a paper bill.
  • Online and phone payments will not be available through lcec.net.
  • Our Walk-in Payment Stations, Immokalee Payment Center, and U.S. mail are all available payment channels through this transition.
  • Bill images will no longer be available through bank websites.
  • Due dates will be extended a week to allow for the inconvenience.
  • Some bills will be trued up to ensure an accurate billing cycle moving forward. No customer will be charged for electricity they have not used and we will honor payment arrangement requests.

Once the transition is complete – September 24

  • Customers enroll in SmartHub and can opt for paperless billing again.
  • Customers previously paying their bill automatically through their bank should enroll in SmartHub and LCEC AutoPay. Bill images will no longer be available through bank websites.
  • SmartHub will provide access to bills, daily usage information, online payment, payment extensions, outage reporting, and more!
  • SmartHub will be available on smart phones, tablets and any mobile device.

Are your windows adding to your electric usage?

In Southwest Florida, 30 percent of the summer cooling costs are attributed to glass and windows. Whether your windows are old or new, there are many ways to save that are inexpensive and fairly easy to do. Below are glass and window recommendations from LCEC’s energy experts:

• Significant air-conditioning savings can be attained by blocking solar heat before it reaches the windows, or by using special heat-reflecting glass or heat-reflecting glass coatings (residential window tint). You can tint your windows yourself or hire a professional.
• Reflective glass or reflective glass coatings should be rated to reflect at least 65 percent of all solar heat to be considered efficient in Southwest Florida.
• East or west windows are the main source of intrusive heat. It is recommended to use shading devices and tint on east and west windows since they experience many hours of direct sunlight.
• South-facing windows experience a great deal of direct sunlight in the winter months when the sun rides lower in the sky. In the summer, south-facing windows are largely shaded by the overhanging soffit of the roof.
• Awnings, storm shutters, shade trees and porch or lanai roofs are all very effective in blocking solar heat. To be 100 percent effective, the exterior shading device must never allow direct sunlight to touch the window’s surface.

For more energy-saving glass and window tips, visit lcec.net.

Payment through LCEC Account Access suspended September 17-24

During implementation of new technology, customers may experience brief interruptions of online service. PAY-BY-PHONE AND LCEC ONLINE WEB PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE FROM SEPTEMBER 17-24 while data is converted to the new customer care and billing system. Customers are encouraged to pay by mail, at pay stations, or at the Immokalee office until the new system is available on September 24.

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