LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

Due to global supply chain disruption, new service requests could be delayed.

The Power Cost Adjustment increase is a result natural gas price costs passed on from our power supplier.

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LCEC July Power Cost Adjustment

LCEC July Power Cost Adjustment

June 29, 2022 – A Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) increase will be implemented for LCEC customers on the July bill. The increase is the result of rising purchased power costs passed on from the LCEC power supplier, Florida Power and Light (FPL). Power cost adjustments fluctuate and increase or decrease as the cost to generate power rises and falls. For LCEC, power costs reached more than 70 percent of total expenses, putting pressure on the Board to implement an increase.

PCA charges are determined to adjust for, or anticipate, projected costs for purchased power. Since 2014, there had been five PCA decreases. The most recent increase marks the third increase needed to recover power costs in 2022. There are no margins (profit) earned on the power cost portion of the customer bill, it is simply a pass-through to FPL.

Power cost adjustments are not unique to LCEC. Energy suppliers have a monthly adjustment based on variable fuel costs related to power production. The Public Service Commission authorizes PCA to address changing fuel and wholesale power prices. Without the PCA, utility base rates would be constantly changing to reflect the cost of power.

Even with the power cost adjustment, LCEC rates remain competitive within the region. LCEC customers have not seen a base rate increase in 14 years. The base rate is the portion of the bill that LCEC is able to manage through efficiencies, technology, and a close watch on the bottom line.

Customer Bill per 1,000 kWh

Customer Charge          $15

kWh Cost                      $81.20

Power Cost                   $55.50

Total                             $151.70 (increase of $32.70)

LCEC partners with United Way to offer energy assistance through the Power to Share Program. The program is funded by LCEC employees and customers to help qualified customers in need of electric bill payment assistance.

LCEC is prepared for storm season

June 23, 2022 – LCEC is ready for whatever weather heads to SWFL this storm season. Our tried and true restoration plan includes maintaining relationships with power line and tree-trimming contractors, fuel companies, material vendors, food service vendors, other cooperatives and local agencies for mutual aid. No matter what the resource, members can rest assured that LCEC has a relationship in place for whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. 

In addition, the more than 375 LCEC employees each play a critical role in the restoration plan which they take very seriously. Employees put their typical job responsibilities on hold to pitch in during restoration. From assessing damage to leading out-of-state crews, and even doing laundry for linemen, each and every employee has an important role.

We understand the importance that electricity plays in the lives of our members, especially during the continued challenging times we are living in. We understand that for many, the home has become the workplace in addition to the place where loved ones reside. It is important to remember that LCEC has a proven track record when it comes to storm restoration, and we ask that customers be patient. We know how frustrating it is to be without power. Members can rest assured knowing that we work around the clock during restoration situations to ensure the lights are back on as quickly as possible. We won’t rest until all of our more than 235,000 customers have power.

Restoration Priorities
LCEC has a thorough restoration plan that outlines priorities of electric restoration during large power outages. The LCEC plan first calls for restoration of critical circuits that power essential services such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, law enforcement. Next, power is restored to the largest number of customers possible. The last to be restored are individual services in small pockets or services that need to be reconnected after repair to their home electrical system.

Please note that LCEC does not disconnect power before a storm. We let Mother Nature run her course, and begin to restore power to impacted areas once winds are at a safe level to work.

How customers should prepare for outages
-Ensure a back-up telephone other than a cordless or telephone that is dependent on electricity.
-Have a battery-powered radio on hand and a supply of fresh batteries to stay aware of news and other information.
-Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy.

What to do when the lights go out
-Help keep the LCEC telephone lines clear for emergency calls. Only call LCEC at 656-2300 to report downed power lines.
-Visually check the weather-head (on the roof where your service drop connects to the pole) and the meter box to make sure it is not damaged.
-Any damage to the home’s electric system must be repaired by a licensed electrician and inspected by a designated agency before power can be restored.
-Turn off appliances. This will protect them when service is restored, prevent electrical fires and lessen the chances of circuit overload when service is restored. Leave one light on to serve as a visual signal that power has been restored.

Storm Safety Tips
-Stay clear of downed power lines. They may still be energized and dangerous. Puddles of water contacting downed lines are just as dangerous.
-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.
-Residents on life support must have an alternate plan in place to ensure the continuity of life-support needs. This may include making special arrangements to spend time with a friend or relative during an outage or using a back-up generator.
-If operating a portable generator, keep it outside and in an open area. Carbon monoxide emissions can be harmful. Follow all instructions regarding safe operation. Do not connect the generator directly to the main electrical panel. If installed incorrectly, power could flow into outside lines and cause injury to the owner, neighbors or utility crews working in the area.
-Please do not detain LCEC employees or contractors while they are working to restore power. This can be distracting, can cause an accident and impedes the process.

The process of power restoration following a major storm

June 9, 2022 – LCEC works 24/7/365 to distribute electricity to more than 235,000 customers in Southwest Florida. Although the electrical system itself is complex, the process of restoration can be easily understood because it goes in steps.

  • The first step in our restoration plan is damage assessment, which includes physical inspections of our facilities and plants. Once damage assessments have been made, LCEC begins repairs.
  • Secondly, we repair main circuits and critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations.
  • The third step is to restore services to the greatest number of customers as soon as possible.
  • Lastly, LCEC begins restoring power to those small pockets or individuals still without power.

Storm season began on June 1 and LCEC is ready if a storm heads to SWFL. LCEC reminds all customers to be patient if and when power outages occur. In addition to the need for it to be safe for our linemen to hit the pavement, there are global supply chain issues which may result in major service delays extending through 2023. LCEC is taking measures to mitigate the situation, and thanks customers in advance for their patience.

Preparing those with special needs for storm season

June 1, 2022 – Storm season starts today and those with special needs are urged to prepare for potential power outages. If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare those with special needs so they are safe and comfortable to weather any storm:

  • Have a plan in place to ensure the continuity of any life-support needs. This may include making special arrangements to spend time with a friend or relative during an outage or using a back-up generator.
  • If you use a back-up generator, please be responsible for the safe installation, use, and maintenance of any back-up power.
  • Keep phone numbers of emergency response agencies, such as the hospital, fire department and police, in a convenient location, in the event emergency assistance is needed.
  • Ensure that you have a back-up telephone if you use a cordless or other telephone that is dependent on electricity.
  • Have a battery-powered radio on hand and a supply of fresh batteries to remain aware of news and other information.
  • Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy.

If preferred, those needing assistance can apply for special needs programs which provide shelter and transportation free of charge during Tropical Storms and/or Hurricanes. Applications can be found online according to what county you live in.

Visit the Reliability tab on lcec.net for storm season safety tips and to download the LCEC Hurricane Guide.

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