April 22, 2020 – As we all navigate the reality of staying home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to conserve electricity. Not only does conserving energy reduce your carbon footprint, but it can make a big difference in your electric bill. You are home more and LCEC reminds customers to follow these recommendations to avoid using more energy than you absolutely need during this trying time:
• When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree below adds 8 to 12 percent to the cooling costs.
• Be sure your thermostat fan switch is set on the “auto” setting. This is more economical for temperature and humidity control.
• Do not close A/C vents or interior doors when A/C is running.
• Check the attic for areas where insulation is missing or may have been moved during repairs or cable installation.
• Change or clean filters monthly.
• Keep windows and exterior doors closed when running your air conditioner or heater. Also, use caulk and weather strip around windows and doors.
• Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which use 75% less energy, or LED lamps (light emitting diode), which use 85% less energy with a life expectancy of 30,000 to 50,000 hours of run time.
• Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.
• Install reflective window tint/film that will reflect 65 percent or better on windows facing east, west or south. You can buy this at your local home improvement store and install yourself!
Visit the Energy Efficiency pages of lcec.net for more tips and tools to help you save electricity. Keeping your family, yourself and your community well is your number one priority. We hope to help you consume wisely while we weather this COVID storm. We are all in this fight together, and we ALL have the power to make a difference! LCEC thanks everyone for doing their part during this unprecedented time. #wepoweron
April 17, 2020 – National Lineman Appreciation Day is April 18. On this powerful day, LCEC honors and thanks not just our dedicated linemen, but linemen and women around the world, for the hard work they do. These dedicated, highly skilled workers put their lives on the line daily to keep the lights on. They work in the most dangerous conditions faced with challenging elements and situations. National Lineman Appreciation Day is a day to #thankalineman for their work which goes largely unnoticed until you are without power.
At LCEC, we pride ourselves on the extremely talented, brave and passionate linemen we have on our team who keep the lights on for our more than 220,000 customers. The type of passion demonstrated by LCEC linemen was featured in 2015 when retired LCEC lineman Les Walton was inducted into the International Lineman Museum Hall of Fame!
Should you see a lineman on National Lineman Appreciation Day, or any day for that matter, please give them a wave (from six feet away). LCEC extends a huge thank you to all the brave line heroes across the nation! During the COVID-19 pandemic, linemen and women are working hard around the world to ensure that no one has to worry about having power. It is the goal of line workers to provide peace of mind during this unprecedented time.
Powerful facts about the lineman trade
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 line workers in the United States: More than 115,000
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
April 3, 2020 – The decisions of the LCEC Board of Trustees to retire up to $12 million in member equity and return it to past and current customers could not have come at a better time amidst the COVID19 financial impact on customers.
Equity is the ownership interest of LCEC members’ in the total assets of the electric cooperative. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, assets are funded by margins and debt. Net margins are allocated to members annually in the form of a credit to their equity account. “Net margins are not profit and do not benefit anyone other than members – they do not benefit LCEC management, employees, or Trustees in their management and oversight of the cooperative,” explained LCEC Chief Executive Officer Denise Vidal. When possible, a portion of equity can be converted to cash, retired, and returned to members.
The retirement will provide some relief for customers feeling the economic strain of COVID19 and unable to pay their electric bill. In April and May, inactive customers will receive a check for their portion of the equity return and active customers will receive a credit on their May or June bill, or a check if the amount is more than $250. The amounts will vary based on the members’ contribution to revenues.
In addition to the $12 million equity return, LCEC continues to encourage customers having difficulty making a payment to call for assistance. If already past due, customers are able to request an extension through the LCEC SmartHub app or online at LCEC.net. “We remain committed to delivering reliable power and quality service at the lowest rate possible and will maneuver through these uncertain times with all of our customers’ best interest in mind,” said Vidal. As a not-for-profit cooperative, LCEC relies on revenue to maintain the grid, purchase power, repay lenders, pay taxes, and hire skilled workers. Revenue is earned strictly by billing and collecting for the electricity already used by customers.
LCEC also contributes funds to a short-term energy assistance fund, the LCEC Power to Share program, in partnership with the United Way. Employees and customers help fund the program which provides bill payment for customers experiencing hardship. Donations to the fund can be made at https://www.unitedwaylee.org/donate/.
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