LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative


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Power restoration following a major storm

Power restoration following a major storm

June 16, 2021 – LCEC customers are part of the cooperative that distributes electricity to nearly 280,000 Southwest Floridians. The complex network that puts electricity where it needs to be is just like the parts of a car engine that work together to get you from point A to point B. The following explains how LCEC goes about restoring power following a major storm.

  • 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.

As we navigate through the 2021 storm season, LCEC reminds all customers to be patient if and when power outages occur. Customers can rest assured knowing that LCEC will work around-the-clock to restore power as soon as it is safe for our linemen to hit the pavement.

Portable Generator Safety Tips From LCEC

June 9, 2021 – If you power your home with a portable generator during electrical outages, it is essential to consider the serious health and safety risks to you, your neighbors, and unsuspecting line crews working in the area if not operated properly. Keep the following in mind to protect yourself and others this storm season:

  • Before you buy a generator, determine how much electricity you need for your home. Be sure to buy the right size generator.
  • Read the operating instructions carefully before operating the generator.
  • Do not connect a generator directly to your home’s electrical system. Plug appliances directly into the generator.
  • Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Keep in an open, well ventilated area outside and away from open windows.
  • Buy a battery-operated carbon-monoxide alarm, which will alert you if carbon monoxide levels become dangerous.
  • Do not touch a generator if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Consult an electrician if you have any questions about the safe operation of your generator.

Visit lcec.net for more tips for staying safe around electricity.

Storm season preparations are essential for those with special needs

June 2, 2021 – Depending on the severity of storms that come our way this storm season, power outages may occur. Hopefully you have already prepared yourself and your loved ones, but it is essential to prepare those with special needs BEFORE a storm heads our way! Below are some tips to keep those with special needs safe 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 including the downloadable LCEC Hurricane Guide, visit www.lcec.net.

LCEC is ready for you, storm season!

May 26, 2021 – Storm season is around the corner and LCEC is ready! LCEC has partnerships with power line and tree-trimming contractors, fuel companies, material vendors, food service vendors, other cooperatives and local agencies for mutual aid to ensure that we are ready for restoration.

Additionally, each of the 400+ LCEC 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 leading out-of-state crews, and even doing laundry for linemen, every employee has a vital role.

We understand the importance that electricity plays in our customers’ live. 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. Customers can rest assured knowing that we work around the clock during restoration situations to ensure the lights are back on as quickly as possible. LCEC employees will not rest until all of our 228,000+ 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.

Visit lcec.net to download the LCEC Hurricane Guide. This useful guide will help you ensure that you and your family are ready for anything that Mother Nature brings our way this storm season!

SmartHub for the electricity win

May 19, 2021 – Managing your LCEC electric account safely and securely online with SmartHub is an electricity win. LCEC’s bill pay and customer service tool offers a multitude of ways to make your life easier and even lower your electric bill!

With SmartHub you are able to:
• View payment history
• Pay your bill
• Request a payment extension
• Receive bill reminders
• Set usage alerts
• Monitor energy usage
• Report an outage

Enrolling in SmartHub is simple! Visit LCEC.net or download the free SmartHub app. Make sure to have your account information handy when you register as a New User. For FAQs or to enroll in SmartHub, visit lcec.net. Also available on our website are easy tips and tools for conserving electricity.

LCEC employees continue to Pay It Forward through pandemic

May 11, 2021 – Following CDC guidelines and the LCEC Pandemic Plan, employees managed to still give of their time, talent and heart to our community. In fact, LCEC employees Nancy Miller, Nicky Sierra, and Aaron Warner managed to volunteer 500+ hours during the pandemic!!

LCEC designed the Pay It Forward Program in 2016 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 to be awarded to a 501 (c)(3) charity of choice. LCEC employees who volunteer between 50-100 hours in the community can designate a not-for-profit organization to receive up to a $100 donation. Each year since the program’s inception, several remarkable LCEC employees have surpassed the annual 500+ hour mark of community service. Our most recent (and repeat) 500 Club Members will each be entered into a drawing and one of these remarkable three will be the lucky winner of an additional $500 for the charity of their choice.

LCEC could not be prouder of Nancy, Nicky, Aaron, and all of our incredible employees whose passion for philanthropy results in thousands of volunteer hours a year!

Storm season starts June 1

May 4, 2021 – Although the last thing on your mind is the start of storm season after fighting long and hard against COVID-19, June 1 will be here before we know it! Now is the time to prepare yourself and your family in the event that any storms come our way. Keep the following in mind when making your plans for the start of storm season:

-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 by ensuring your yard stays debris free and trees are pruned.
-Help family, neighbors, and coworkers plan.
-Remind everyone you know to stay away from downed power lines!!

Rest assured that LCEC is ready for anything that Mother Nature brings to SWFL! 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.

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

LCEC Hurricane Guide Available

April 27, 2021 – Reviewing the LCEC Hurricane Guide is the perfect way to prepare for the start of storm season on June 1. Preparing early is key to riding out any storm that Mother Nature may bring our way. The LCEC Hurricane Guide includes detailed information about:
• 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
LCEC is ready for storm season! Are you? Visit lcec.net to download a copy of the LCEC Hurricane Guide to get yourself and your family prepared!

Volunteers invited to join the Dirt Don’t Hurt 4H Club and Future Forestry Corp. to plant 300 Slash Pines to celebrate Earth Day – this Saturday!!

April 21, 2021 – The Future Forestry organization is teaming up with the “Dirt Don’t Hurt” 4H Club this Saturday, April 24th from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. to plant 300 Slash Pines at the NE corner of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and Surfside Blvd. The 4H Club will be there with 30 kids and adult chaperones. All volunteers are invited to join the project! An hour our two will make the Earth a better place for years to come! You can’t ask for a better Earth Day celebration than that!

Volunteers should bring hats and sun protection, gloves, and a shovel with their name on it (if they have one). What’s in it for volunteers? It is guaranteed they leave knowing they helped beautify the area, and did their part to help kids work for a sustainable future. The group will be digging holes, planting trees, mulching, and watering trees. There is something for all skill levels!! This is a collaboration of www.FutureForestry.org, and www.facebook.com/dirtdonthurt4h/, and an environmental award from www.lcec.net. The media is invited to join the celebration and education!

LCEC sponsors Garden Club of Cape Coral as they promote safe tree planting and care

April 20, 2021 – LCEC announced that it will partner with the Garden Club of Cape Coral to sponsor a landscaping project for a Habitat for Humanity’s Cape Coral Women Build home. The Garden Club will work with Lee County Master Gardener Volunteers to create a Florida Friendly landscaping in the hopes of being an example to others in the community. This project will be documented, and a video will be created and by the Lee County Master Gardener Volunteers to educate residents on the Nine Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping.

“Our decision to sponsor this initiative has to do with the importance of the first principle in the Florida Friendly Landscaping program, Right Plant, Right Place,” said Public Relations Director Karen Ryan. “We are passionate about helping residents in our community understand it can be life-saving to plant vegetation planted safely away from power lines and care for trees properly.”

LCEC reminds all residents that:
• Touching or contacting power lines with tools may cause a powerful or fatal electric shock.
• When pruning trees, all tools and trimmings must remain a minimum of 10 feet away from energized lines.
• Only qualified Line Clearance Arborists may work within 10 feet of energized lines
• Always contact LCEC before performing or contracting tree work near electric lines. LCEC can schedule safe clearing in advance of your tree care or deenergize the line.

LCEC has a strong focus on tree planning and care. Contact with power lines is extremely dangerous, and in some cases, fatal. To learn more about LCEC’s commitment to safe tree care practices, visit lcec.net.

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