LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative




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LCEC Fishing Tournament reels in more than $53,000 for United Way

LCEC Fishing Tournament reels in more than $53,000 for United Way

April 30, 2019 – The 23rd Annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament reeled in more than $53,000 for the United Way! This catch and release tournament was held on April 13 at D&D Bait and Tackle on Matlacha. In total, 85 boats and 251 anglers participated this year. An impressive 32 grand slams were measured! In total, 57 snook, 50 redfish, 49 trout, and 53 snapper were measured on the official tournament weigh-in boards! Along with a great day of friendly fishing, the tournament included a HUGE raffle drawing with over 250 prizes given away in addition to 46 silent auction items. LCEC employee volunteers cooked up a delicious feast for both the captains’ meeting and the tournament, and were on hand to do everything from selling raffle tickets to serving food to selling apparel. Special thanks to the incredible sponsors, participants, volunteers, and planning committee for making this year’s tournament a huge success. Visit the LCEC United Way Annual Fishing Tournament Facebook page or contact fish@lcec.net for photos and information on next year’s tournament!

National Lineman Appreciation Day is April 18

April 16, 2019 – April 18 is National Lineman Appreciation Day! On this special day, LCEC honors and thanks not just our linemen, but linemen around the world, for the hard work they do. These dedicated men and women put their lives in danger day in and day out in the most trying of elements to keep the lights on. National Lineman Appreciation Day is a day to #thankalineman for their work which goes largely unnoticed until you are without power.

Although the majority of linemen prefer to be out of the spotlight, one of LCEC’s linemen was honored in a monumental way. In 2015, LCEC lineman Les Walton was inducted into the International Lineman Museum Hall of Fame! We are so proud of each and every lineman in the LCEC family, and especially honored to have one recognized in such a significant way! Should you see a lineman on National Lineman Appreciation Day, or any day for that matter, please give them a wave or a pat on the back. LCEC extends a huge thank you to all the brave line heroes across the nation!

Linemen factoids:
The power lineman trade began: 1879
First lineman in the United States: Ezra Cornell (who built the Morse telegraph line and founded Cornell University)
Founder and first president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: Henry Miller
Number of wood poles in United Sates: 170 million+
Approximate weight of lineman tools and equipment: 30 pounds
Miles of wire service in United States: 9 million+
Number of transmission towers in service in United States: 2.7 million+
Number of wood poles in service in United States: 170 million+
Number of years of training to become lineman: 4 years
Source: linemanappreciationday.com

Trees and power lines don’t mix

April 9, 2019 – Earth Day is right around the corner. Many people celebrate this important day by planting a tree. Although planting a tree is great for the environment, it can mean trouble for you and your neighbors depending on the type of tree planted and the location. Keep the following information in mind to maintain electric reliability for you and your neighbors while keeping your yard looking great:

Right tree:
• The trees you select should depend on a number of characteristics: growth rate, leaf persistence, shape and salt tolerance (if you live near saltwater).
• Visit the Vegetation Management section of lcec.net for information on recommended trees in our area.

Right place:
• Remember that trees need space to grow. Vegetation that could potentially interfere with power lines at its mature height should not be planted below power lines or near electric utilities. Some trees may appear to be a safe distance from power lines. However, that may not be the case during a storm or when the lines are carrying a heavy demand.
• LCEC asks that customers leave an 8-foot space in front of the door side of the transformer so utility employees can work quickly and safely. We also ask that you maintain a 3-foot cleared area around the electric meter and a 3-foot-wide approach to the meter.

Tree planting and power lines:

Distribution
• Shrubs up to 6′ high at maturity should be planted 5′ away from the pole.
• Shrubs up to 10′ high should be planted 10′ from the pole.
• Small trees & large shrubs up to 20′ high should be planted 15′ from the pole.
• Medium trees up to 40′ high should be planted 30′ from the pole.
• Large trees over 40′ high should be planted 45′ from the pole.
• The distances given above are the minimum distance the plant should be placed away from the pole.

Transmission
• Transmission lines require a wider right-of-way area, but landscaping can be done if careful attention is paid to the mature height of shrubs & trees.

For more information on planting the right tree in the right place, visit lcec.net. For more information on Earth Day 2019 (April 22), visit earthday.org.

Millions in equity retired this year

April 2, 2019 – The LCEC Board of Trustees recently approved a $14.6 million 2018 equity allocation. In addition, an $11.9 million equity retirement was approved putting those funds back in the pockets of active and inactive electric cooperative members. This amount includes an $8.1 million return of equity to inactive customers with memberships that have been closed since 2011, and an additional return of $3.3 million to current and inactive members. Customers will see credits on their bill, or equity checks soon.

Over the years, LCEC has returned more than $280 million in equity to customers. Equity in LCEC is not equivalent to cash or liquid assets. Equity represents members’ investment in LCEC’s electrical system in the form of substations, poles, lines, transformers and other facilities. The amount of equity allocated to each member each year is calculated based on the amount of electricity used by the member in the period. Equity equates to financial strength for LCEC members. It allows for improvements in the delivery of power and service through capital projects without incurring costly loans, which helps keep rates low.

“LCEC is proud of the financial strength that has allowed us to return equity to our customers for many years,” stated Chief Financial Officer Denise Vidal. Equity ownership is one of the benefits of belonging to a financially stable electric cooperative. Many electric cooperatives in the United States are able to return equity to members.

Vidal explained, “Mortgage clauses from LCEC lenders require financial ratios to remain at minimum levels. Depending on operating costs and capital requirements, it is not always possible to return equity, but this year we are.” The LCEC Board of Trustees reviews the LCEC financial position each year to make a determination regarding equity management.

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