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To tint or not to tint home windows and glass

To tint or not to tint home windows and glass

July 16, 2019 – In sunny Southwest Florida, 30 percent of summer cooling costs are attributed to glass and windows. From sliding glass doors to skylights to regular windows in your home, all glass conducts heat. LCEC energy experts remind everyone that:

• 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 also known as residential window tint.
• Reflective glass or residential window tint should be rated to reflect at least 65 percent of all solar heat to be considered efficient in Southwest Florida.
• Awnings, storm shutters, shade trees and porch or lanai roofs are all very effective in blocking solar heat.
• 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.
• Skylights experience many more hours of direct sunlight than any vertical window and should be avoided if possible. Existing skylights can be tinted, covered, blocked or shaded to lessen their load on the air conditioner.
• When upgrading windows, consider energy-efficient features such as double-pane, low-E glass as well as type of frame material.

Residential window tint is available online and at many major home improvement stores. Along with detailed application instructions, there are many tutorials online to help you apply residential tint yourself. For more ways to save, visit lcec.net.

LCEC welcomes Director of Electric Operations

July 9, 2019 – LCEC welcomed Harold Taylor as its new Director of Electric Operations. In this role, Taylor will be responsible for directing the planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance of LCEC infrastructure including transmission, substation, and distribution facilities. Additionally, Taylor will play a key role in the development of corporate strategic and vision planning, and policy and procedure decision-making processes. Taylor comes to LCEC from Georgia with nearly 30 years’ experience in power supply working primarily for utilities and also as a consultant.

Keep fireworks away from power lines

July 2, 2019 – Independence Day is right around the corner! With so many ways to celebrate around Southwest Florida, you likely have big plans for the occasion! If you are planning on doing a firework display of your own, LCEC reminds you to proceed with caution by:

Keeping fireworks away from power lines!!
Fireworks should only be lit in open areas where there are absolutely no power lines in sight. Should a firework accidentally come in contact with an overhead power line, call 911 and your electric utility immediately! If you are an LCEC customer, you should call 239-656-2300.

Fireworks are as dangerous as they are beautiful!
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 9,300 fireworks-related injuries happen per year! This injuries range from people misusing everything from large-scale fireworks to firecrackers, rockets and sparklers. Sparklers alone burn at almost 2,000 degrees!

Additional safety tips from the U.S. Product Safety Commission include:
• Children should never, ever help adults with fireworks. Do not give children fireworks or sparklers.
• Firework spectators should be at least 20 feet away and not downwind of fireworks.
• Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from anything flammable.
• Read all instructions on fireworks!
• Keep water close by in care of fire.
• If your fireworks don’t light or malfunction, never try to relight!

There are many dazzling firework shows happening around town that are run by professionals and supervised by firefighters. These shows are a safe and fun way to end Independence Day with a beautiful bang!

LCEC wishes you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day!

Staying cool without breaking the bank

June 25, 2019 – When the outside temperature is 99+ degrees, it is tempting to crank down the AC and stay indoors. Remember that when cooling your home, every degree does count…or should we say cost! LCEC recommends setting your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit when home. Each degree below adds 8 to 12 percent to your cooling costs (which accounts for 50 to 60 percent of your electric bill during summer months). While away from your home for more than two hours, LCEC recommends setting the thermostat at 83 degrees Fahrenheit. If these recommendations send chills down your spine (and not cool, refreshing chills), consider the following tips to beat the heat without breaking the bank:

• Drink lots of water. Being hydrated helps you feel at your best.
• Dress wisely. Tank tops, shorts, flip flops. Tis the season to dress lightly!
• Battery powered fans. Power these puppies up to stay cool without affecting your energy usage.
• Take cool showers and baths. Cool water makes a world of difference when you are hot!
• Hit the pool. Jump in, cool off and burn some calories while beating the heat.
• Head for cool spots. Visit the mall, movie theater or museum for an outing in air conditioning that you are not paying for!

For more ways to save on your electric bill, visit lcec.net.

Blinking lights demystified

June 18, 2019 – Annoying as it can be, blinking lights or a series of momentary outages is actually a good thing! Blinking lights or momentary outages are the result of some type of disturbance that is detected on the electric system. The cause can range from an automobile accident to a squirrel, bird or tree branch. When lights blink, it is an indication that LCEC protective devices are operating properly. When something contacts an energized line, it creates a fault or short circuit. If the fault or short circuit is temporary, power is restored in the blink of an eye. Although it is a very quick process, it may cause lights to flicker and digital clocks to reset. The protective device will sometimes operate more than once to clear the line of the disturbance and avoid a prolonged outage. If the line is not cleared, it will be de-energized to protect equipment from damage and ensure safety. As much as we wish that we could control the environment and the weather, we can’t. However, we can and do work diligently to ensure reliable electricity for our customers. If these momentary blinks are driving you momentarily crazy, you might consider using electric devices that have battery backups. To learn more about LCEC’s focus on reliability, visit lcec.net.

Trimming now can help prevent prolonged power outages

June 11, 2019 – We have had a very wet start to storm season. Although we all have our fingers (and toes) crossed for a calm storm season, there is no telling what might come our way. While LCEC is prepared for anything Mother Nature has to bring, we urge all residents to trim overgrown trees and branches growing near power lines. Vegetation poses a serious risk to power lines during high-wind storms. As a guideline, there should be an 8- to 10-foot clearance on either side between tree branches and power lines, and there should be a 10-foot clearance between the top of trees and the primary power line. Any branches within this range near power lines should be pruned or removed. Keep the following in mind when trimming vegetation:

• Do not remove or trim branches that are touching power lines. Touching a tree that is in contact with a power line can lead to serious injuries or death. If a tree touching a power line is burning or sparking, please contact LCEC immediately at 239-656-2300.
• When trimming or cutting trees, be sure they fall away from power lines.
• Trim dead or weak branches from the trees around the home even if they are far away from power lines. Strong winds could make these branches deadly projectiles.

If you feel uneasy trimming vegetation around your home, residents are urged to hire a licensed tree trimming company that is certified to work around power lines. At LCEC, we too utilize professional trimmers, trained in safety practices to trim trees in utility easements or trees contacting power lines. They trim trees along power lines on a regular maintenance cycle. We also respond to specific customer requests if trees in the area pose an immediate threat to safety or to the reliability of electric service. We thank all residents in advance for their vegetation efforts. Every bit of preplanning helps when it comes to storm season!

Storm season tips for those with special needs

June 4, 2019 – When Mother Nature strikes, power outages can and do happen. If you or a loved one have special needs such as life support, now is the time to prepare for temporary power outages that may happen this storm season:

• 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.

For more information on storm season safety, visit www.lcec.net.

LCEC prepares for hurricane season

May 28, 2019 – LCEC is ready to fight back if a hurricane heads to Southwest Florida. To ensure that we are ready for restoration, LCEC cultivates relationships with power line and tree-trimming contractors, fuel companies, material vendors, food service vendors, other cooperatives and local agencies for back-up resources. You name the resource…LCEC has a relationship in place should the situation call for it.

In addition, LCEC’s 375+ employees play a critical role in the restoration plan. Employees put their typical job responsibilities on hold to pitch in during restoration. From assessing damage to doing laundry for linemen, each and every employee has an important role

Restoration Priorities
LCEC has a thorough restoration plan that outlines priorities of electric restoration during large power outages. LCEC’s plan first calls for restoration of critical circuits such as hospitals, traffic signals, shelters, law enforcement. Next, power is restored to the largest number of customers. 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.

How customers should prepare for outages
• 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 stay aware of news and other information.
• Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy.

What to do when the lights go out
• Help keep LCEC’s telephone lines clear for emergency calls. Only call LCEC at 656-2300 to report downed power lines.
• 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.
• Any damage to your home’s electric system must be repaired by a licensed electrician and inspected by a designated agency before power to your home can be restored.
• Turn off your appliances. This will protect them when service is restored, prevent electrical fires and lessen the chances of circuit overload when service is restored. You may 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 need to have an alternate 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 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 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.
• 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.

LCEC asks that customers be patient. We are experts at storm restoration. We know how frustrating it is to be without power. Customers can rest assured knowing that LCEC works around the clock during restoration situations to ensure that customers get their lights back on as quickly as possible.

LCEC Hurricane Guide Available for Download

May 21, 2019 – The LCEC Hurricane Guide is a comprehensive how-to for preparing to weather any storm or disaster situation. Some of the topics addressed in the Hurricane Guide include:

• Storm restoration process
• Preparing your home and business
• Life support
• Evacuation protocol
• Disaster supply kit
• Portable generator safety
• Debris and vegetation
• Important phone number and links

Visit lcec.net to download a copy of the LCEC Hurricane Guide and start preparing today!!

Are you ready for storm season?

May 14, 2019 – LCEC is ready for storm season. Between maintaining our electric system and improving upon our restoration planning year-round, all LCEC employees are ready to jump into action if and when the time comes. Are you and your family ready if a storm rears its dangerous head? There has never been a better time than NOW to prepare. Keep the following in mind when making your plans:

• Make an emergency plan and share with family.
• Know your risk for wind, rain, and floor.
• Know your evacuation zone.
• Put together a disaster supply kit. Visit ready.gov for planning tips.
• Have a backup source of power ready for anyone requiring life-support equipment.
• Get your finances in order.
• Strengthen your home, and trim vegetation. If you cannot safely trim vegetation on your own, contact a licensed professional.
• Help family, neighbors, and coworkers plan.
• Remind everyone you know to stay away from downed power lines!!

For more information on preparing for storm season, download a copy of our Hurricane Guide on lcec.net.

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