LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative




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Energy + Safety = Win-Win

Energy + Safety = Win-Win

February 25, 2020 – Electricity cools our homes, heats our food, powers our electronics, and lights up our lives in more ways than one. But with the convenience of electricity comes the need to be extremely cautious. To keep yourself, your loved ones, and your home safe from energy hazards, it is essential to remember the following five tips:

1. Discard damaged power cords. If you notice that the protective coating on power cords has been stripped away or is damaged in any way, it is essential to replace it ASAP. If you must keep the cord until a new one can be purchased, be sure to cover it with electrical tape immediately.
2. Never overload outlets. Outlets are designed to deliver a specific amount of electricity. Plugging too many things into an outlet can cause a number of things including a fire! Consider using a power strip if you need to plug in multiple devices.
3. Avoid extension cords. Extension cords are not intended for permanent use and can result in trips or even Fido getting hurt from nibbling the cord if they are not properly secured. If your home doesn’t have enough outlets for your needs, hire a certified electrician to install additional outlets.
4. Water and electronics don’t mix. Water conducts electricity. Avoid getting water near outlets or electronics.
5. Protect kiddos from electrical hazards. With so many safety products on the market, it is easy and affordable to baby-proof your home. A jumbo package of safety caps for electrical outlets is just a few bucks and is one easy way to keep your child safe around electricity.

These five tips are just some of the many ways you can create a win-win situation when it comes to energy and safety. Visit lcec.net for more ways to be safe around electricity.

2020 LCEC Trustee Election

February 18, 2020 – Since 1940, LCEC employees, guided by the board of trustees, have made a supreme effort to balance fiscal responsibility with the goal of improving the lives of those whom they serve. LCEC board members, elected by customers, demonstrate veracity and principles in their professional and personal lives and contribute to the organization’s diversity in terms of background and business experience. The 10-member board takes great responsibility in setting policy and procedures and maintaining financial strength while supporting employees who run the day to day operations of the utility. These board members are elected by LCEC customers, and represent the geographical area in which they reside. Three-year terms are staggered in order to provide continuity on the board.

Ballots for the 2020 LCEC Trustee Election will be mailed to customers in March. Instructions for voluntary voting are printed on the ballot, and include voting online or by phone. Election results will be presented at LCEC’s Annual Meeting on April 16.

Visit the Board of Trustees page on lcec.net for more information on LCEC’s current board, the nomination process and more.

LCEC lives United

February 11, 2020 – Giving back to the community we live in and love is something that LCEC takes very seriously. Just one of the many ways LCEC gives back is by supporting the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties. LCEC is extremely proud to be one of the top fundraisers for our local United Way for decades. “Part of the LCEC vision for 80 years has been to energize the communities we serve. We do this by delivering power and also through supporting the agencies in our community that offer a hand up to those in need,” said LCEC campaign chair Karen Ryan. In 2019 alone, LCEC raised nearly $215,000 through fundraisers, employee contributions, and a corporate contribution. In the past 10 years, LCEC is extremely proud to have raised upwards of $2,000,000 for the United Way! Raising this much money takes a great deal of time, elbow grease, and genuine care for the people LCEC serves. Within the 375 LCEC employees, 10 employees are Keel Club donors (contributing $1,000 or more) and nearly $34,000 has already been donated to the 2020 campaign through employee payroll deductions. In addition to giving out of the wallet, LCEC is proud to have 27 employees who participate on local Allocation teams, and others who volunteer consistently at United Way programs and agencies like the Reading Pals program, Valerie’s House, the Alliance for the Arts, and Meals of Hope. “These are our communities. We live here, work here, and raise our families here. We understand it is important for us to give back and help people who may be going through hard times,” Ryan said.

Next up on LCEC’s fundraising calendar for 2020 is our 24th Annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament happening on April 11 on Matlacha. Visit https://uw.lcec.net/SitePages/Fish.aspx for information on registration, sponsorships, tournament rules and more. The tournament is one of the main events for the LCEC campaign and has been successful at keeping expenses low so all of the funds go directly to local agencies to help local residents.

A focus on raising funds for the United Way and the MANY agencies they serve is just one of the ways in which LCEC energizes this community. Helping the United Way care for so many people in the community part of the corporate culture and employees feel truly honored to be able to make a difference.

Ways to pay your electric bill with LCEC’s SmartHub

February 4, 2020 – LCEC’s SmartHub, our online bill pay and customer service portal, offers easy, convenient and FREE ways to pay your electric bill.

Pay online when you log in to SmartHub:
• Checking/savings account payments are FREE and can post immediately to your LCEC account or be scheduled for a later date.
• Credit/debit card payments made before 4 p.m. post to your LCEC account within six hours. Payments made after 4 p.m. post the next day. Or you may schedule payment for a later date. Third-party service fee of $4 applies. Your payment and fee will appear as one combined amount on your credit/debit card statement.

Sign up for Auto Pay through SmartHub:
• Automatically deducts your electric payment from your bank account on the due date.
• Residential and commercial customers are eligible.
• Funds must be drawn from US banks only.

Visit LCEC.net for more ways to pay and to learn about all the ways that SmartHub can help you save time and money!

Energize your inner energy-saver

January 29, 2020 – We all have it within us to save energy. It doesn’t take much to reduce your carbon footprint while reducing your electric bill. Here are just a few ways to channel your inner energy-saver:

Cooling/heating:
• When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree below adds 8 to 12 percent to the cooling costs.
• When heating your home, set the thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Since heating costs three times more than cooling, consider using a space heater or electric blanket.
• While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
• 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.
• Service your air conditioning system annually.
• 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.
• Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.

Refrigerators:
• Do not locate refrigerators/freezers in a garage or other non-air conditioned space.
• Refrigerators should be maintained at 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit, while freezers should be maintained from 0 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Full freezers use less power. Use plastic soda bottles filled with water, or bags of ice, if necessary. Keep refrigerators full when leaving your home vacant for a long period of time.
• Test your refrigerator door gasket with a crisp dollar bill. A good gasket will hold the bill in place.

LEDs:
• 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.

Another simple way to save electricity is to enroll in LCEC’s online bill pay and customer service portal, SmartHub! With SmartHub, you can do everything from setting up usage alerts to monitoring energy usage to reporting an outage to paying your electric bill!

Visit lcec.net to enroll in SmartHub and to discover more ways to save electricity!

Be safe around overhead power lines

January 21, 2020 – Before outdoor work or play, it is essential to look up and locate any overhead power lines. It is everyone’s job to be alert to where overhead power lines so that you can protect yourself and others. When it comes to overhead power lines, it is essential to:
• Look up to locate all overhead power lines.
• Stay at least 10 feet away from any overhead power lines.
• Never touch anything that comes into contact with a power line.
• Always carry ladders or tall equipment horizontally. It is smart to use wooden or fiberglass ladders outdoors since metal ladders conduct electricity, but remember, even wood can conduct electricity if it is even somewhat wet.
• Never climb trees near power lines.
• Never fly kites, remote control airplanes, drones or balloons around power lines.

If you see a downed line, stay away! It is best to always assume that a downed power line is live and could be deadly. If you see a downed power line:
• Call 911.
• Never try to move a downed line.
• Never drive over or near a downed power line or anything in contact with them. Downed lines can energize the ground up to 35 feet away! This distance can increase in wet conditions.

For more ways to be safe around overhead power lines and electricity, visit lcec.net.

LCEC employees Pay It Forward

January 14, 2020 – LCEC employees do much more than just keep your lights on. They energize the community through volunteering countless hours each and every year to give back to this wonderful place we call home. From serving as Odyssey of the Mind judges to picking up trash to reading to at-risk youths, LCEC employees take pride in serving the community. In an effort to support their passion for philanthropy, LCEC designed the Pay It Forward Program to encourage volunteerism and support employees’ efforts to give to their favorite qualifying non-profit organization. In essence, employees who volunteer and track volunteer hours can earn Pay It Forward donation dollars which are, in turn, awarded to the employee’s 501 (c)(3) charity of choice. To receive Pay It Forward donation dollars, employees must volunteer at least 50 hours. Once an employee hits 50 hours, they can designate a not-for-profit benefiting organization to receive a $50 donation on behalf of the employee Since the program’s inception in 2016, several remarkable LCEC employees have surpassed the 1,000 mark in volunteer hours!

The Pay It Forward Program is just one way that LCEC gives back to the community. Another example of LCEC’s commitment to this community is our continual fundraising efforts which bring in approximately $200,000 annually for the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties. LCEC is proud, honored and dedicated to taking an active role in making our communities and the environment a better place to work and live, and we sincerely thank our 370+ employees for giving of their time, talents and treasure to benefit others.

LCEC Celebrating 80 Years

January 7, 2020 – LCEC has been serving Southwest Florida’s energy needs since 1940 when orange grove owner George Judd sold the North Fort Myers Mariana Grove power plant to the members who lived in North Fort Myers. Homer T. Welch was the company’s first member of management when LCEC began with 15 miles of distribution line and 158 members, which was about one percent of Lee County’s population at the time. In the 80 years since then, LCEC has prided itself on living up to our mission of providing efficient, reliable, cost-competitive electricity, emerging energy solutions, and excellent service to our customers. One example of us staying true to our mission is our focus on managing operating and maintenance costs while constantly improving processes and efficiencies. As a result of this hard work, 2020 also marks the 12th consecutive year that LCEC has not raised rates. LCEC customers can rest assured knowing that LCEC will spend the next 80 years working just as diligently to provide reliable electric and quality service at the lowest possible rates while continuing to give back to this community which we all call home. Happy New Year from LCEC, and thank you for letting us energize your life since 1940!

Simple ways to save electricity during the holidays

December 17, 2019 – It’s that time of the year where we shop, eat, visit, bake, and just plain have fun. But with that fun can come a larger than expected electric bill in January! Take some time to add these simple ways to save into your holiday plans so you avoid a potentially ho ho ho-rrendous electric bill.

Give green:
Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® label when shopping for appliances and electronics this holiday season! This certification label was created by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to promise substantial energy savings.

LEDs are what you need:
Whether you decorate your home like National Lampoon’s Clark Griswold or just trim a simple Christmas tree, it is wise to invest in LED holiday lights. Not only do LED lights generate a lot less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs making them safer, they use nearly 75 percent less energy than incandescent and last up to 25 times longer!

Keep away grinchy energy vampires:
Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use or when going away for a vacation. Keeping things such as computers, gaming systems, toaster ovens, phone chargers, hair dryers, etc. plugged in may not account for a ton on your electric bill, but why not play it energy-smart and safe by unplugging these energy-sucking vampires when not in use.

For more ways to save on electricity 365 days a year, visit lcec.net. Happy holidays from LCEC!

Stay safe around electricity this holiday season

December 10, 2019 – While staying safe around electricity is important year-round, it is especially important to keep electric safety in mind during the holidays.

Inspect all decorations before use.
Damaged sockets, exposed wires and bad connections could cause electrical shock or even a fire! After inspection, use caution when plugging in your holiday decorations. Be careful not to overload outlets. If using incandescent lights, do not connect more than three strands as this could potentially blow a fuse, or worse yet, cause a fire. More than one hundred fires happen per year due to issues with decorative and holiday lights.

Keep your tree watered.
A dry tree is a fire hazard. Water your tree daily, and be sure to remove it from your home when it has died or immediately after the holiday is over. Hundreds of home fires start each year because of Christmas trees!

Choose battery-operated candles.
Invest in battery-operated candles which are much safer than normal candles. Normal candles cause nearly half of home decoration fires.

Protect cords.
Be sure to never pinch cords, hide them under furniture, place them near a heat source or secure them with nails or staples. Any of these could cause electric shock or a fire. Unplug all cords when not in use to stay safe while saving electricity.

Unplug when not in use.
Never leave holiday lights on when not home or while sleeping. It is estimated that half of all home fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

For more tips on staying safe around electricity, visit lcec.net. LCEC wishes all a happy and safe holiday season!

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