LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

LCEC has DECREASED the Power Cost Adjustment for a second time beginning August 1, 2023, based on forecasted fuel costs and cost recovery.

LCEC is a proud member of Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

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LCEC remembers Hurricane Ian

LCEC remembers Hurricane Ian

September 27, 2023 – One year ago tomorrow, Hurricane Ian forever changed the history of SWFL. With winds of 155 miles per hour, Ian devastated the entire electric infrastructure leaving all LCEC members without power. What took LCEC 80+ years to build was devastated with a single, catastrophic storm. Homes and businesses were destroyed, roads were flooded and wiped away, and barrier islands were completely cut off from the mainland.

Before the storm, LCEC began executing the Emergency Restoration Plan, shifting into restoration mode more than a week before landfall. Line workers and tree trimming crews were staged throughout the LCEC service territory in preparation. As the storm approached, these crews in addition to 400 LCEC employees lay in wait for what was to come.

In the days following the storm, LCEC led a Herculean effort to mobilize more than 2,500 resources needed to restore power to customers as quickly and safety as possible. Help came from everywhere in the nation and work continued around-the-clock to help bring normalcy back to SWFL.

As work pressed on for weeks, a large number of LCEC employees lived in their offices. They did this not just to fulfill their restoration duties, but because they did not have homes to return to. They put their lives and loses on hold until the lights were on for all LCEC customers. Some employees share their stories about the moments following the storm and their commitment to restoring power in this short video.

LCEC is proud of the resilience, dedication, and selflessness that transpired before, during and after Ian not just by employees and mutual aid resources, but the SWFL community as a whole.

The 2022 LCEC Annual Report fully recaps the LCEC journey through Hurricane Ian with photos, timelines and stories of resilience. Download a copy today at


LCEC announces tournament results to benefit United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades

September 21, 2023 – LCEC held its annual fishing tournament and golf tournament within one week of each other and raised approximately $100,000 for the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades!

The 27th Annual LCEC Fishing Tournament was held on September 9, 2023 at D & D Matlacha Bait & Tackle on Matlacha. This popular community event brought in more than $65,000! The tourney had 180 anglers on 53 boats who took part in winning and bidding on nearly 150 raffle and auction prizes.

Fishing tournament winners included:

  • Grand Slam – Team Big Boys Bait & Tackle
  • Largest Trout – Team Big Boys Bait & Tackle
  • Largest Red Fish – Team Danella Companies
  • Largest Snook – Team Marine Trading Post
  • Mystery Fish – Team Southern Fab

The LCEC Golf Tournament was held on September 16, 2023 at the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers. This fun-filled event brought in approximately $35,000! The tourney included 104 golfers which made up 26 teams.

Golf tournament winners included:

  • First place – EPR/GIR
  • Second place – Designated Drivers
  • Third Place – Re/Max
  • Longest Drive – Skyler Cargo
  • Closest Pin – Cameron Nero
  • Best Team Name – Three Men and a Stranger

LCEC is extremely thankful to all tournament participants, sponsors and volunteers! For photos of the 27th Annual LCEC Fishing Tournament, visit For photos of the LCEC United Way Golf Tournament, visit

LCEC is proud to  help the United Way in their mission to serve those who need help the most in our community!


LCEC weathered the storm

August 30, 2023 – As the tropical storm-force weather from Hurricane Idalia dissipates, LCEC utility workers and contractors continue to respond to scattered outages resulting from rain bands and wind gusts. Crews worked throughout the night and into today to restore the minimal outages experienced by LCEC members. The electric system held up extremely well to the heavy wind and rain.

LCEC reminds all residents of SWFL to continue practicing caution while driving, clearing debris and other storm-related activities. Our crews will be made available to other utilities in need as Hurricane Idalia continues its path through Florida.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by this storm, many of which are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ian in 2023.

Visit for an Outage Map, storm-related news, and tips for staying safe before, during and after a major storm.

LCEC working around-the-clock

August 29, 2023 – As feeder bands from Hurricane Idalia bring tropical force winds to our area, LCEC reminds members that scattered outages may occur. It is essential to remember the following:

  • Stay away from downed power lines! Downed lines could be energized and therefore deadly. If you see a downed 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.
  • If you experience a power outage and use a portable generator, practice caution!
    • Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter or a regular household outlet.
    • Don’t overload the generator.
    • Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage.
    • Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

LCEC crews remain staged on Sanibel Island, Pine Island, Marco Island and in North Fort Myers. These crews will work around-the-clock to restore any power interruptions.

Utilize the Storm Center at to know where power outages are. If your outage is noted on the map, there is no need to call LCEC because we are on the way!

Stay safe SWFL!

LCEC is storm ready

August 28, 2023 – As all of SWFL keeps a close eye on Tropical Storm Idalia, LCEC encourages members to remain calm. Should scattered outages occur, LCEC has a strong restoration plan in place to reenergize members as quickly and safely as possible. This 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. In addition, each of the more than 400 LCEC employees play a critical role in the restoration plan. Every employee puts their typical job responsibilities on hold to pitch in during restoration. We do not rest until the lights are back on for all members!  

Restoration Priorities
The LCEC restoration plan outlines priorities of electric restoration during large power outages. This 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.

LCEC urges all residents of SWFL to take this time to prepare your family and home for Tropical Storm Idalia. Download the LCEC Hurricane Guide at to aid in preparation. LCEC thanks members in advance for their patience and confidence in us!


LCEC is prepared for Tropical Storm Idalia

August 28, 2023 – LCEC is fully prepared for Tropical Storm Idalia. LCEC employees will be monitoring the storm and the electric system 24/7 throughout the storm. Crews have been staged on Sanibel, Pine Island, Marco Island and in North Fort Myers in preparation for Idalia. LCEC has the following resources ready to jump into action:

  • 210 line personnel and 60 tree trimmer personnel in place in preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia.
  • 225 line personnel and 10 tree trimmer personnel on the LCEC system by close-of-business today if projections for Tropical Storm Idalia begin to show a direct impact to SWFL  and intensification models increase to hurricane strength.
  • 750 line personnel and 120 tree trimmer personnel on stand-by for Wednesday or after the storm passes.
  • LCEC has been in contact with the Florida Electric Cooperative Association, Duke Energy, and FPL in case they need restoration assistance. Once LCEC customers are restored we will join in mutual aid, and vice versa.

LCEC does anticipate scattered outages as a result of Tropical Storm Idalia, but is cautiously optimistic that any impact will be minimal.

LCEC storm prep information tent, Sunday at Lowes

August 26, 2023 –  LCEC is partnering with Lowes to provide storm preparation information and free LCEC Hurricane Guides at the Lowes, 1651 Pine Island Road, Cape Coral on Sunday, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Employees will discuss information about generator safety, home and business storm prep, and how power is restored! Lowes is a good place to find storm prep supplies and take advantage of the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

$25 Lowes gift cards will be presented to the first 40 people who stop by the tent.

LCEC Public Relations Team Wins at FPRA Golden Image Awards

August 24, 2023 – The LCEC Public Relations team took home two awards at the 2023 Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) 66th Annual Golden Image Awards gala held on August 8, 2023 at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. The team took home an Award of Distinction for the “LCEC Response to Hurricane Ian” and an Award of Distinction for the “LCEC Intranet Design.”

The Golden Image Awards competition is conducted annually by FPRA to recognize outstanding public relations programs in Florida and to encourage and promote the development of public relations in our state. The Golden Image Awards have become a standard of excellence in the state of Florida. Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning, and design.

An Award of Distinction is presented to entries that meet the standards of excellence set by a panel of judges.

LCEC partners with Harry Chapin Food Bank and Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL for food distribution event

August 17, 2023 – LCEC has partnered with Harry Chapin Food Bank and Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL to host a drive-thru food distribution event on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 2514 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres, FL 333971. This drive-thru pre-packaged food distribution will benefit 700 families in the Lehigh Acres Community. In addition to food, there will be baby products for up to 250 families. These food distribution events are one of the many ways LCEC positively impacts the community.

Calling all anglers to 27th Annual LCEC Fishing Tournament to benefit United Way

August 15, 2023 – Angler registration is now open for the 27th Annual LCEC Fishing Tournament to benefit the United Way. The catch and release tournament will take place on September 9, 2023 at D&D Bait and Tackle on Matlacha. Fish will be measured and photos submitted using the FishDonkey app. An awards event will happen at 3 p.m. and include food, raffle drawings and a silent auction. Information on the Captain’s Meeting, tournament rules and more can be found at Contact or 239-656-2204 with questions. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades.

High temperatures also mean high energy usage – grid technology helps protect the system. Customers can help too.

August 10, 2023, North Fort Myers, FL – Higher than usual temperatures create a high demand on the electric grid. Although LCEC facilities are designed to withstand typical demands, customers are asked to conserve electricity to ensure reliability of the electric system.

LCEC set an all-time summer energy usage peak on August 8 of 1020.37 MW. The previous peak was set the day before with 989.89 MW. Previous to this summer’s record usage, the peak was on August 21, 2022 with 969.92 MW.

When loads are high, protective devices may automatically operate on the grid causing customers to experience a momentary blink, or series of blinks, in their electricity. This technology is part of proactive system protection to avoid longer outages. While LCEC understands power blinks can be annoying and frustrating, they are part of a protection plan to prevent more severe power interruptions or damage to the electric grid. This weather is not easy on customers and air conditioners are working overtime resulting in more energy usage and higher electric bills. Customers are urged to conserve energy and utilize the LCEC SmartHub tool to help manage usage.

Here are a few simple ways customers can help:

  • Set the dishwasher to operate in the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping.
  • Reduce use of the pool pump or set the timer to complete its cycle by 5 p.m.
  • Wash clothes after 7 p.m.
  • Set a timer on the water heater so it only heats water when it is needed.
  • Set AC thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • Keep window coverings closed during the day to keep the home/business cooler.
  • Grill or use the microwave instead of the oven.
  • Use natural lighting as much as possible.
  • Don’t keep electric devices on if not in the room (fans, TV, radio).

LCEC Appoints Two Directors to Leadership Team

August 9, 2023LCEC is pleased to announce that Amanda Smelker and Allan Ruth have been named as Directors on the LCEC leadership team.

Amanda Smelker accepted the position of Director of Administrative Services. Amanda has been with LCEC for 15 years with increasing roles and responsibilities throughout her tenure including, Sr. IT Business Analyst, Sr. Project Manager, Supervisor of Business Analysts/Process Practitioner, Head of Project Management Office, System Transformation Program Manager, and Manager of Business Alignment & Governance before stepping into the role of Interim Director Administrative Services. Amanda has both a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from FGCU. Additionally, Amanda is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Change Management Practitioner through Prosci, a Certified Manager of Quality and Excellence through ASQ, and is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Allan Ruth accepted the position of Director of the newly formed division of Business Continuity. Allan brings 38 years of LCEC experience to this role, the majority of which has been in progressively responsible leadership positions including Manager of Operations Business Support, Manager of Construction & Maintenance, Senior Supervisor of Contract Management, Supervisor of Contract Construction, Supervisor of Vegetation Management, Supervisor of Maintenance & Construction, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the role. Allan began his career with LCEC in the warehouse as a Storekeeper, then completed the Apprentice Program to become a journeyman lineman, prior to taking on leadership roles. Most recently, Allan has laid the groundwork for a formal LCEC Business Continuity Program through his accomplishments as Incident Commander for the LCEC Hurricane Ian Emergency Restoration effort. Allan has established relationships and represented LCEC at the FL Senate and House of Representatives, the FL Department of Emergency Management (FDEM), the FL Public Service Commission (FPSC), the FL Electric Cooperatives Association (FECA), and various local municipalities/counties/civic associations to name a few.

LCEC is extremely proud of Smelker and Ruth whose expertise and leadership will help LCEC continue to successfully deliver the power that energizes our community!

Today, LCEC Power Cost Adjustment DECREASES for second time in three months

August 1, 2023 – A Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) decrease of approximately 3 % (average bill of 1,000 kWh) will be implemented for LCEC customers on August 1. This is the second PCA adjustment for LCEC members in just three months. PCA charges are determined to adjust for or anticipate costs for purchased power. The decrease is the result of cost recovery forecasts and budget projections related to purchased power costs passed on from the LCEC power supplier.

In June, LCEC reduced the PCA by 9.4 % bringing the total DECREASE so far this year to 12.4 % per 1,000 kWh.

Power cost adjustments fluctuate and increase or decrease as the cost to generate power rises and falls. Since 2014, there have been seven PCA decreases. There are no margins (profit) earned on the power cost portion of the customer bill. It is solely a pass-through to the power supplier.

Power cost adjustments happen regularly throughout the energy industry. Power suppliers make adjustments based on variable fuel costs related to power production and the costs, or savings, are passed on to customers.

Residential Customer Bill per 1,000 kWh:

Base Rate                            $99.20

PCA Rate                             $36.80

TOTAL                                 $136.00

Storm season reminders from LCEC

July 27, 2023 – With storm season in full swing, it is essential for LCEC customers to remember the following:

LCEC does not disconnect power before a storm

After Mother Nature runs her course, LCEC begins to restore power to impacted areas once winds are at a safe level to work.

LCEC has resources in place for any storm

Before a storm makes impact, LCEC recruits additional resources, suppliers, and logistic support so that as soon as it is safe, restoration work can begin.

LCEC knows your power is out

There is no need to call if your power is out. LCEC crews will continue to restore power until the winds are too strong to work safely. At that point, workers ride out the storm until they are able to assess the damage and begin to make repairs.

Visit the Storm Center at for more storm season tips and tools.

Electric Toasters Toastmasters Club 5701 Inducts New Officers

July 13, 2023 – The LCEC sponsored Electric Toasters Toastmasters Club 5701 inducted new officers on July 12, 2023. The installation of officers was conducted by LCEC CEO and Electric Toasters Member Denise Vidal. The Electric Toasters was chartered in October 1994 and has members with more than 20 years of involvement.

The 2023/2024 Electric Toasters Toastmasters Club 5701 officers include:

President – Kennedy Van Dyke

VP of Education – Nicky Sierra

VP of Membership – Michael Torres

VP of Public Relations – Madison Obrochta

Secretary – Norma Rodriguez

Treasurer – Jenell Dolan

Sergeant-At-Arms – Shannon Williamson

Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law in December 1932 and is an educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Membership in the Electric Toasters Toastmasters Club 5701 (District 48) is open to anyone interested in honing their communication skills. The Electric Toasters meet every first Wednesday of the month. Join today at For more club information, visit

LCEC Media Specialist Earns Accreditation in Public Relations

July 6, 2023 – LCEC is proud to announce that Media Specialist Shannon Williamson has earned the designation of Accredited in Public Relations (APR). To earn the public relations accreditation, candidates must pass an oral presentation and rigorous written examination administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). This prestigious accreditation is held by just over 4,300 public relations professionals worldwide, including 38 in southwest Florida. LCEC is proud to now have three APRs on their public relations team!

In addition to her role as a media specialist for LCEC, Williamson is a board member for the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Southwest Florida Chapter where she has served two consecutive years as chapter secretary. Williamson also took on the leadership role as event chair for the FPRA Image Awards ceremony where she was honored with the 2023 Rising Star Award. Williamson is currently nominated at the FPRA state level for the Joe Curley APR, CPRC Rising Leader Award.

How power is restored by LCEC following a major storm

June 27, 2023 – Safety is the number one priority for LCEC following a major storm. As line workers begin the labor-intensive work that is restoration, it is essential for customers to keep safety in mind for their own well-being and the safety of those working to get the lights back on.   

  • Stay clear of downed power lines, as they may be energized.
  • Puddles of water contacting downed lines are dangerous.
  • Keep LCEC phone lines clear for emergency calls by only calling to report safety threats.

In a restoration event, LCEC works through four steps:

  1. Damage assessment – Includes physical inspection of our facilities. Once damage assessments have been made, LCEC begins repairs.
  2. Critical repairs – LCEC repairs main circuits and restores critical facilities such as hospitals, police, and fire stations.
  3. Quickly and safely – Repair lines that get the greatest number of customers on as soon as possible.
  4. Remaining outages – Restore power to those small pockets or individuals still without power.

For more information on the steps taken by LCEC before, during, and after a major storm and other tips for staying safe during storm season, visit the Storm Center on

Generator Safety for Storm Season

June 15, 2023 – Storm season is officially here. As you prep your storm kit, be sure to consider the following if you plan to use a generator in the event of a power outage. These tips will keep you, your loved ones, and utility workers safe:

  • Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter or a regular household outlet. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.
  • The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from the utility power lines to the power coming from your generator.
  • Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
  • Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
  • Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Just like your automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustion engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house, in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Gasoline (and other flammable liquids) should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers. They should not be stored in a garage if a fuel-burning appliance is in the garage. The vapor from gasoline can travel invisibly along the ground and be ignited by pilot lights or electric arcs caused by turning on the lights. Avoid spilling fuel on hot components. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.
  • Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

Download the LCEC Hurricane Guide and find other useful links on the Storm Center at

LCEC June Power Cost Adjustment decrease

May 31, 2023 – A Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) decrease of approximately 9.8 percent (average bill of 1,000 kWh) will be implemented for LCEC customers on June 1. The decrease is the result of cost recovery forecasts and budget projections related to 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.

PCA charges are determined to adjust for or anticipate costs for purchased power. Since 2014, there have been five PCA decreases. 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 adjustments based on variable fuel costs related to power production.

Residential Customer Bill per 1,000 kWh

Customer Charge:  $18

kWh Cost:  $81.20

Power Cost Adjustment:  $41.00

Total:  $140.20 (decrease of 14.50)

In order to assist customers having a hardship with their electric bills, 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. Those able to round up their monthly bill to the nearest dollar can contribute to the fund by visiting

May is National Electrical Safety Month

May 23, 2023 – We are nearing the end of National Electrical Safety Month. Each May, LCEC joins the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to help raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

Statistics show that electricity is a significant cause of injury and death among workers in the United States with more than 400 electrocutions and over 4,000 non-fatal injuries each year. Awareness and education are critical to reduce the incidence of electrical fires. ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month annually in May to educate the public in order to reduce the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries and property loss.

For more tips on electrical safety, visit or contact LCEC at 239-656-2300. For more information on National Electrical Safety Month, visit

LCEC to participate in Inaugural Cape Coral Hurricane Preparedness Expo

May 17, 2023 – LCEC will participate in the Inaugural Cape Coral Hurricane Preparedness Expo on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Mercola Market, 125 SW 3rd Place, Cape Coral, FL 33991. This free event is open to all Cape Coral residents and will include city officials, local organizations and businesses providing giveaways and storm tips for before, during and after a major storm.

Visit to download the LCEC Hurricane Guide and begin your storm preparation today!

LCEC Celebrates Membership With Touchstone Energy Cooperative

May 8, 2023 – LCEC is dedicated to providing reliable, cost-competitive electricity with an exceptional member engagement experience. To enhance that experience, LCEC is partnering with Touchstone Energy Cooperative! Touchstone is a national network of electric cooperatives that provides research, targeted programs, communication resources, and employee development. Touchstone has served the cooperative community for more than 25 years, supporting nearly 700 electric cooperatives across 45 states. The focus is on delivering a national brand dedicated to educating its members and employees on the cooperative difference, which puts LCEC members first.

LCEC PR Director and Media Specialist Honored at Image Awards

May 4, 2023 – LCEC is proud to announce that Public Relations Director Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC and Media Specialist Shannon Williamson were honored at the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) 2023 Local Image Awards on Thursday, April 27 at Suite Forty Eight in Fort Myers.

Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC was honored with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award which is reserved for public relations professionals who have dedicated their career to the profession and the advancement of it. This award is given only when there is someone eligible for it.

Shannon Williamson received the 2022 Rising Star Award which is presented to an up-and-coming leader in the chapter who shows enthusiasm and passion for the PR profession while making a positive difference through their service to the organization.

LCEC congratulates Ryan and Williamson on these prestigious honors! 

A bad refrigerator seal could increase your electric bill

April 26, 2023 – A refrigerator seal (or gasket) has to be in pristine shape to ensure that your cold items stay cold and electricity isn’t wasted. There are several signs which indicate a faulty or bad seal including a warm interior, condensation, and constant running of the fridge.

If you are worried your seal has gone bad, try one or all of these three tests:

  1. Carefully inspect all around your refrigerator seal. Crumbs and other types of dirt could prevent an airtight seal.
  2. Place a dollar bill where the seal is and shut the refrigerator door. As you slowly pull out the bill, observe if there is any tension or not. It is best to repeat this test around the whole seal to see where the potential weak or broken points exist.
  3. Carefully inspect the seal with your fingers to feel for cracks and ruptures.

If you have a bad refrigerator seal, it must be replaced to ensure the safety of your cold items and to prevent wasted electricity. As cold air leaks from a faulty seal, the refrigerator compressor has to work harder which can shorten the lifespan of your fridge and increase your energy consumption.

Visit for more ways to save on your electric bill!

LCEC Celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day

April 18, 2023 – Today, April 18, is National Lineman Appreciation Day! On this special day, LCEC honors not just our dedicated linemen, but line heroes around the world, for the essential work they do. These dedicated, highly skilled workers put their lives on the line 24/7/365 to keep the lights on. They work in treacherous conditions faced with challenging elements and situations. Following Hurricane Ian in late 2022, LCEC crews teamed with linemen from throughout the country to work around-the-clock to essentially rebuild all of the LCEC infrastructure and restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.

In 2015, LCEC lineman Les Walton made history when he was inducted into the International Lineman Museum Hall of Fame. Walton passed away in 2020, but his memory will forever live at LCEC and in this museum!

On National Lineman Appreciation Day and every day, please take time to #thankalineman with a wave, honk or kind word which will make their day!

LCEC extends sincere appreciation, thanks and admiration to all the brave lineworkers across the nation! Every lineworker is a hero!

Electrical safety for your furry family members

April 12, 2023 – Pets are naturally curious and playful. Not only can a four-legged family member get hurt while being frisky around electricity, but a pet could even cause an electrical fire or other dangers. Remember the following to protect your furry friend:

  • Protect pets from electrical cords by covering with a heavy plastic sleeve or applying a bitter-tasting product to deter pets from chewing. Chewing on cords can cause deadly shock!
  • Never leave charging cords plugged in when not in use and in view. Serious burns or shock can happen if pets put these cords in their mouths.
  • Ensure that night lights and appliances are fully plugged into wall outlets with no exposed prongs which could attract tiny paws or tongues.
  • Ensure that you have no dangling cords from conveniences such as lamps and appliances. These cords could easily get pulled down and potentially start a fire.
  • Never allow pets to nap or play behind and/or near computer equipment, dryers or other large appliances to avoid electrical risks.

If you suspect that your furry friend has contacted electricity and has signs of burns, increased drooling, coughing, difficulty breathing or signs of suffering, contact your vet immediately. Visit for more tips on staying safe around electricity.

Electric habits to keep you out of hot water

April 6, 2023 – Adopting simple electric habits can keep you from getting burned with a higher electric bill. Consider the following when it comes to hot water usage: 


  • Opt for showers over baths. A low-flow showerhead uses approximately 20 gallons of water during a ten-minute shower while it takes an average of 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub.
  • Turn off the shower while you soap your body and shave.

Laundry room:

  • Use cold or warm water instead of hot when washing your clothes. According to the Department of Energy, using warm water in place of hot can cut your energy usage in half.


  • Never rinse your dishes before loading them into your dishwasher. Pre-rinsing means you are using twice the hot water.
  • Always fill your dishwasher fully before running a load.
  • Keep your faucet lever in the cold setting to avoid having your water heater kick on just to rinse fruits and vegetables.

Visit for more ways to conserve electricity and save on your electric bill.

Three local organizations receive LCEC Environmental Funding Awards

March 30, 2023 – LCEC announced that Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Friends of the Cape Coral Environment, Inc., and Cape Coral Wildlife Trust received environmental funding awards. These organizations will use the funds to make a positive impact on our environment. This funding program was developed in 2013 as a means of supporting the amazing projects being done locally to protect our precious habitat. Since its inception, the program has awarded more than $250,000 in local funding awards. To find out more about award deadlines and application criteria, visit the Environment page of

18 LCEC Employees Participate on United Way Fund Distribution Teams

March 23, 2023 – LCEC is proud to be a top fundraiser for the United Way of Lee, Hendy, and Glades Counties. Through fundraising events and employee, board and corporate contributions, LCEC commits every year to helping the United Way reach its annual goal. Our support of the United Way doesn’t stop with fundraising efforts. Each year, LCEC employees volunteer to participate on United Way Distribution Teams. Fund distribution (allocations) is the process that United Way uses to decide where to invest donations. The United Way recruits hundreds of volunteers from the community to represent the thousands of donors who contribute to the campaign to participate in allocations process. This year, there are 28 fund distribution teams on which 18 LCEC employees are serving on. “Serving on a fund distribution team is an absolute honor, and has given me the opportunity to learn so much about the amazing agencies which the United Way serves. Participating in this process gives you an in-depth understanding and true appreciation of how every single penny donated to our United Way goes directly to serving so many essential needs in our community,” said Senior Public Relations Specialist Laura Puerto. To find out more about how you can participate in the fund distribution process, visit or contact

LCEC, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Guadalupe Center partner to host food distribution event

March 13, 2023 – LCEC, the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Guadalupe Center have partnered to host a drive-thru food distribution event this Wednesday, March 15, 2023, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the new Van Otterloo Family Campus at the Guadalupe Center, 3655 Westclox Street, Immokalee, FL 34142. This drive-thru pre-box food distribution will benefit 400 households in the Immokalee community. This is the third food distribution event that LCEC has cohost since Hurricane Ian decimated SWFL in late 2022. These food distribution events are just one way LCEC delivers on its core value of energizing the community by taking an active role in making our communities a better place to work and live.

Deadline for LCEC Environmental Funding Award Applications is March 15

March 9, 2023 – Time is running out to apply for an LCEC Environmental Funding Award. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 15. Interested organizations should visit to download the application. Interested organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including that the funding must be utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry and have a demonstrated need for funds. Funding is awarded twice a year with deadlines happening on March 15 and September 1. Nearly $240,000 has been awarded since the program’s inception in 2013. To learn more, visit the Environment page at or contact

LCEC Celebrates Outstanding Employee Volunteerism

March 8, 2023 – The LCEC Pay It Forward Program began in 2016 to encourage volunteerism and support employees’ efforts to give to their favorite qualifying non-profit organization. To participate in this program, employees track and submit their volunteer hours to earn Pay It Forward donation dollars to be awarded to a 501 (c)(3) charity of choice. LCEC employees who volunteer between 50 to 100 hours in the community can designate a not-for-profit organization to receive up to a $100 donation.

Each year, there are a handful of outstanding employees who personally go above and beyond with their philanthropy by volunteering more than 500 hours in the community! During a recent celebration of these volunteer superstars, a drawing was held where the lucky winner of the drawing got $500 for the charity of their choice. Just like in year’s past, the winner opted to spread the money between the charities of choice for each of the three 500 Club members!

In just one year, these three LCEC employees gave of their time and talents to volunteer more than 2,000 hours in our community! One of these employees volunteered more than 1,000 hours alone!

Congratulations and sincere appreciation go to 500 Club members Nancy Miller, Nicky Sierra, and Jenell Dolan for their incredible efforts! LCEC applauds all of our incredible employees whose passion for philanthropy results in thousands of volunteer hours each and every year!

What causes blinking lights?

March 1, 2023 – As frustrating as they can be, blinking lights are actually a good thing! Blinking lights or momentary outages are the result of a disturbance that is detected on the electric system. The cause can range from something like a car accident to an animal to a tree branch. When lights blink, it is an indication that LCEC protective devices are operating correctly. When something contacts an energized line, it creates a fault or short circuit. If the fault or short circuit is temporary, power is restored immediately. 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. Unfortunately, this protective measure may cause lights to flicker and clocks on stoves and microwaves to reset. Investing in battery back ups can help mediate some of the interruptions caused by these momentary outages.

Apply now for an LCEC Environmental Funding Award

February 21, 2023 – March 15 is the deadline to apply for an LCEC Environmental Funding Award. To apply, organizations should visit to download the application. Interested organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including that the funding must be utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry and have a demonstrated need for funds. Funding is awarded twice a year with deadlines happening on March 15 and September 1. Nearly $240,000 has been awarded since the program’s inception in 2013. To learn more, visit the Environment page at or contact

So many ways to save

February 9, 2023 – Little changes can have a big impact on your energy consumption which means savings on your electric bill. The following tips are easy to implement and impactful!  

  • Trees: Not only is planting a tree good for the environment, it can help shade your home and keep it cool. Visit for information on planting the right tree in the right place.
  • Kitchen: Be aware when getting things in and out of the refrigerator since you lose one-third of cold air each time that door opens. If you don’t have an energy efficient fridge yet, invest in one soon! There are many affordable options that will help reduce your electric consumption!
  • Laundry: Washing your clothes in hot water can be pricey depending on how many loads you do in a week and what time of day you do them. Consider washing your clothes in cold water to cut down on energy usage.
  • Lights: Always turn off lights, ceiling fans, televisions or anything else that is plugged into the wall when not in use. Also, change out incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent. These light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb!

Simple steps mean savings! For more ways to reduce your energy usage, visit

The down and dirty on dishwashers

February 2, 2023 – Dishwashers work miracles! They rinse, dry, sanitize and so much more. Even better than the bells and whistles of today’s dishwashers is the time savings they provide. They also save water and electricity. But if you aren’t using your dishwasher wisely, this convenience could cost you! According to LCEC energy experts, the average dishwasher costs $0.32 a load. Granted this isn’t a large amount, but depending on how much you run your dishwasher, this could add up quickly. Consider the following to make the most out of each cycle while saving money on your electric bill:

-Use the energy-saving cycles whenever possible.
-If your dishwasher has a booster heater, turn your water heater thermostat down to 120 degrees. Most dishwashers have built-in heaters to boost the water temp up to 140-145 degrees.
-Resist the temptation to pre-rinse dishes. Dishwashers today do a thorough job of cleaning. Just scrape off the excess food and let the dishwasher do the rest. Dishwashers use between 8 to 14 gallons of water per load so save water and electricity by not pre-rinsing.
-Wash only full loads and refrain from hand washing dishes throughout the day. It’s cheaper to put the dishes in the dishwasher and wash them all at once.
-Load the dishwasher according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to fill the racks to maximize energy and water use, but make sure you leave enough room for the water to circulate.

For more energy tips, visit

11th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k a success

January 23, 2023 – The 11th Annual Goblin Gallop 5k took place, Saturday, January 7, 2023. More than 140 participants of all ages came out to Jaycee Park in Cape Coral, Florida for this United Way fundraiser. This is the first event hosted at the park since Hurricane Ian impacted the Southwest Florida community in 2022. The Goblin Gallop raised more than $5,200 for the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades. Special thanks to the many LCEC employees and United Way representatives who volunteered their morning to ensure this event was a success. Thank you also to the sponsors and participants whose support and involvement over the years has helped this event raise nearly $30,000 since its inception.

Florida investor-owned utilities experience bill increase in January

January 12, 2023 – Customers of Florida Power & Light (FPL), Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Florida Public Utilities Co. will see their electric rates increase this month. Rates may increase again for these utilities in the spring due to higher costs of natural gas used to fuel power plants.

Electric bills consist of a combination of different expenses including base rates, fuel costs and environmental costs. Each year, the Public Service Commission (PSC) meets in the fall to discuss costs and how much will be passed on to customers in the coming year.

When rates are discussed, utilities use the benchmark of customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours in a month. In December, the PSC voted for the following costs to take effect in January:

  • FPL has two sets of rates due to a merger with the former Gulf Power. FPL residential customers in areas traditionally served by the utility will see 1,000-kilowatt-hour bills go from the current $120.67 to $125.39 in January, and then to $129.59 in February.
  • Former Gulf Power customers in Northwest Florida who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see their bills go down a penny in January to $155.60, according to the commission, but the bills increase to $159.79 in February.
  • Duke customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from the current $150.02 to $168.90 in January, according to the commission.
  • Tampa Electric customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from $132.66 to $146.72.
  • Florida Public Utilities Co. customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours will see their bills go from $142.80 to $175.46.

Utilities can seek “mid-course corrections” if costs are significantly higher than anticipated. Proposals for corrections typically happen in January which will likely increase rates by April. It is anticipated that both FPL and Duke will seek mid-course corrections after they are able to analyze year-end actuals.

Rising costs for essential resources are not just a major concern for investor-owned utilities, but also for cooperatives like LCEC. A Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) increase was implemented for LCEC members in July 2022. This power cost adjustment was the direct result of rising purchased power costs passed on from our power supplier, FPL. Before this increase, LCEC hadn’t had a PCA increase since 2008, but did have five PCA decreases since 2014.

Register now for the LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k

January 4, 2023 – Register before the price increases on Friday, January 6, for the 11th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k/Kid Run to benefit the United Way. This fun-filled fundraiser is happening January 7, 2023 at Jaycee Park at 4125 S.E. 20th Place in Cape Coral, Florida. The Goblin Gallop was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 29, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian and restoration efforts following the storm.

Registration fees are $30 for the 5K run/walk/virtual before January 6, 2023, and $35 thereafter. The fee for the Kids Fun Run (ages 12 and under) is $15 by January 6, 2023 and $20 thereafter. Packet pickup will be Thursday, January 5, and Friday, January 6, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Run Shoppe at 1407 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904. All virtual racers can pick up their items during packet pickup. Visit for race information and to register. Contact with questions.

The 5k starts at 7:30 a.m. and the Kids Fun Run starts after 5k ends. 

Since its inception, the Goblin Gallop has raised nearly $24,000 to benefit the United Way. LCEC sincerely thanks all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who make the Goblin Gallop a success for the United Way!

Help others this holiday season by enrolling in the LCEC Power to Share by Rounding Up program

December 21, 2022 – If you are looking for a way to touch the lives of others this holiday season, the LCEC Power to Share by Rounding Up program is an incredible option. The LCEC Power to Share program was created in 2009 to assist financially strained customers having difficulty making electric payments. This program is a partnership between LCEC and the United Way, and is funded through generous donations by LCEC employees, business partners, and customers.

In 2020, LCEC expanded this program with the introduction of the Power to Share by Rounding Up program. This program allows participating customers to round up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. Customers also have the option to make an additional monthly contribution or make a one-time donation to their bill. With many ways to donate, giving is easy. Customers can enroll and unenroll easily though the LCEC SmartHub, online at or over the phone by calling LCEC Customer Care at 239-656-2300.

For more information on the LCEC Power to Share by Rounding Up program or other ways that LCEC positively impacts our community, visit Rounding Up is a simple way to make a huge impact in the lives of others!

Happy Holidays from the LCEC family to yours!

LCEC CEO to Speak at Florida Women in Energy Leadership Forum

December 14, 2022 – LCEC CEO Denise Vidal will co-lead a session at the Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum in Tampa on January 6, 2023, to discuss the collaboration and mutual aid that fueled the post-Hurricane Ian power restoration process in southwest Florida. She will be joined by Melissa Seixas, President of Duke Energy Florida, in a Friday morning session titled, “Reflections: From Tragedy to Collaboration and Mutual Aid.”

“Hurricane Ian was the most devastating event we’ve ever experienced, personally and professionally,” said Vidal. LCEC has more than 400 employees – many of who were without power themselves and worked around the clock to restore power after the storm. “We would not be where we are today without the strong support from our partners and friends throughout the country who pitched in to help when it was most needed.”

After Hurricane Ian made landfall, LCEC accepted aid from more than 50 electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities, including Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy. More than 2,500 crews worked tirelessly together to restore power to the affected communities as quickly as possible, bringing electricity back to more than 90 percent of the homeowners who could receive power less than 14 days after landfall.

During the forum, Vidal will also discuss infrastructure improvements that were made since earlier storms and how those improvements, along with innovative partnerships and mutual aid, dramatically changed the landscape of post-disaster power restoration, creating a model for future use.

The three-day event in Tampa, beginning on January 4, highlights women leaders in the energy industry. The annual forum attracts world-class talent for wide-ranging discussions on a variety of energy-related topics.

LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k happening January 7, 2023

December 12, 2022 The 11th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5k/Kid Run to benefit the United Way will take place on January 7, 2023 at Jaycee Park at 4125 S.E. 20th Place in Cape Coral, Florida. The Goblin Gallop was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 29, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian and restoration efforts following the storm.

The 5k starts at 7:30 a.m. and the Kids Fun Run starts after 5k ends. 

Registration fees are $30 for the 5K run/walk/virtual before January 6, 2023, and $35 thereafter. The fee for the Kids Fun Run (ages 12 and under) is $15 by January 6, 2023 and $20 thereafter. Packet pickup will be Thursday, January 5, and Friday, January 6, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Run Shoppe at 1407 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904. All virtual racers can pick up their items during packet pickup. Visit for race information and to register. Contact with questions.

Since its inception, the Goblin Gallop has raised nearly $24,000 to benefit the United Way. LCEC sincerely thanks all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who make the Goblin Gallop a success for the United Way!

LCEC and City of Sanibel work together to safely energize the island

October 21, 2022 – LCEC and the City of Sanibel are working in unison to safely energize Sanibel Island. LCEC is focused on the main LCEC circuits first then service lines feeding homes and businesses can be restored. Some areas, with the least amount of damage can begin to receive power by the Estimated Restoration dates, and others will be later based on the damage at their location and the need for repairs to the customer-owned electric system. After electrician repairs and inspection, end-user services can be restored. More specifically, islanders are reminder that:

Buildings where electrical equipment was flooded or damaged by Hurricane Ian, or that have been notified by LCEC that a city inspection is required to obtain power, are required to follow the below steps for the city to notify LCEC that power may be restored:

  • All Commercial, Multi-Family, and Single-Family homes with an electrical service greater than 600 amps require a licensed Florida engineer to provide an inspection and approval of the existing electrical equipment.
  • If undamaged, please provide the approved for power engineer report to the city at the following email addresses.
  • If damaged, a licensed electrical contractor must make the required repairs and then have an engineer reinspect and provide the approved for power engineer report to the city at the following email addresses.
  • Once the approved for power report is received, the city will notify LCEC power may be restored.

All Commercial, Multi-Family, and Single-Family homes with an electrical service less than 600 amps require an electrical contractor is required to provide an inspection and approval of the existing electrical equipment.

  • If undamaged, please provide the contractors approved for power report to the city at the following email addresses.
  • If damaged a licensed electrical contractor must make the required repairs and then contact the city at the following email addresses to schedule an inspection.
  • Once the inspection passes, the city will notify LCEC power may be restored.

Islanders should utilize the following links for more information regarding restoration:

Visit for restoration updates, electrical safety tips and more.

LCEC and Farm Share Host Hurricane Ian Relief SWFL Event

October 18, 2022LCEC is proud to partner with Farm Share to host a Hurricane Ian Relief SWFL Event on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This event will take place at 4941 Bayline Drive, North Fort Myers, FL 33917, located in front of the LCEC headquarters. The distribution event will provide up to 500 households in our local community with food, hygiene products, baby formula, diapers, and other essentials for those in need following Hurricane Ian. LCEC volunteers in addition to local and state dignitaries will be onsite to assist those in need.

This event falls during National Cooperative Month. One of the seven cooperative principles that guide cooperatives and make them special and unique in their business model is a genuine concern for community. LCEC in partnership with Farm Share is extremely honored and humbled to help those in need as we all work through the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. Please stop by for what you need and know that LCEC continues to work around the clock to restore power to those who can safely receive it.

Estimated Restoration Times for Sanibel Island – some essential services restored by October 20

October 15, 2022 – Early assessments of Sanibel and Captiva Islands indicated it could take months to rebuild the electric infrastructure. Thanks to many forces working together, the backbone of the system will be rebuilt making it possible to restore power to essential services such as the school, RO Plant, and a Fire Stations which are estimated to be back in power as early as next week, October 20. Once the critical infrastructure is rebuilt, team LCEC and FPL plan to work section by section to energize the island over the next two weeks. By October 23, City Hall and public safety facilities are estimated to be in service. Each section that is rebuilt or repaired makes it possible to connect additional residential and commercial customers, the majority estimated to be restored within 13 days. The harder hit sections of the Island, like North Captiva, will take time to rebuild. Attached is a complete restoration timeline for reference.

What has helped expedite restoration to a devastated barrier island:

  1. Assistance from Governor Ron DeSantis and other governmental agencies have been instrumental in overcoming challenges related to access, line worker support, and other resources.
  2. 500 FPL line workers were mobilized to the island last week as part of the extended partnership with FPL, the LCEC power supplier. Support also included a generous supply of utility poles and materials, six substation electricians, and many other logistics personnel working shoulder to shoulder with LCEC employees.
  3. LCEC critical infrastructure remained strong during and after the storm. After proper assessment, cleaning, analysis, and testing, the transmission line and substation were energized allowing for repairs to the backbone of the system. This will enable homes and businesses to begin receiving power.

Challenges of restoring power to a barrier island:

  1. The island has been cut off to vehicular traffic making it difficult to mobilize trucks, materials, supplies, lodging, and utility workers. A one day temporary bridge allowed a large number of vehicles to move over and additional trips must be made by barge and ferry.
  2. Much of the island was destroyed, including critical electric infrastructure. Some facilities survived the storm making restoration to those areas quicker.
  3. Traffic on the island during a normal day can be slow. After a hurricane, it is even more problematic.
  4. Vegetation and debris covers nearly every surface, including where crews need to be to complete work.
  5. Water, sand, and salt intrusion make it tough to rebuild facilities, especially in areas where utilities are underground.

Sanibel transmission line expected be energized today

October 14, 2022 – LCEC and FPL crews and support workers, supported by efforts from the Governor’s office, are expected to energize the transmission line on Sanibel Island some time today. It is still early for an estimated restoration time. LCEC serves nearly 11,000 customers on Sanibel and Captiva islands. The goal is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to those able to receive power and ensure the infrastructure is available for those who will rebuild their homes or businesses destroyed by Hurricane Ian.

Travel to and from the island has been a challenge without the option of vehicular traffic. Mobilization by barge began last week and was not without challenges due to timing of tides, weight restrictions, the quantity and size of the equipment and materials, and the number of workers traveling to the island. Earlier this week, a convoy of hundreds of utility and support trucks and vehicles reached the island through a one-time emergency roadway access supported by Governor DeSantis. This expedited staging and allowed crews to begin preliminary work on the transmission and substation infrastructure.

Assessment, testing, and scrubbing of critical equipment was required before energizing. Simultaneously, crews began working to set poles and prepare installation of wire and other facilities to energize the backbone of the system.

In addition to hundreds of FPL line workers, the restoration operation on the island includes LCEC substation electricians, design engineers, warehouse workers, base camp coordinators, logistics experts, emergency operations representatives, and safety personnel.

Power on Pine Island!

October 13, 2022 – Power on one section of Pine Island was restored yesterday along String Fellow Road. The Fire Stations, RO plant, the town center, the elementary school were energized. Duke Energy and LCEC support teams will begin rebuilding the infrastructure to serve some neighborhoods today.

After a devastating hurricane Pine Island is being restored one pole at a time. LCEC is officially out of storm restoration for the mainland and will be working to restore a few remaining individual services. This includes Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Immokalee, Marco Island, Carnestown, and Naples. If customers are experiencing an outage on the mainland please report the outage by calling 239-656-2300.

LCEC CEO joins Governor and leaders at Sanibel restoration press conference

October 12, 2022 – At a recent press conference, LCEC CEO Denise Vidal joined Governor Ron DeSantis in the announcement of temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway. “Hurricane Ian’s tragic level of widespread and long-lasting devastation to our region’s people, homes, businesses, and way of life is unprecedented in Florida’s modern history,” said LCEC CEO, Denise Vidal.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cayo Costa and ravaged the island causing the only road pathway to Sanibel Island to break in three places. The temporary repairs allowed a one-time deployment of restoration vehicles onto the island to begin restoration. “Here at Ground Zero, we have been fortunate to be working so closely with the Governor’s office and the Florida Department of Emergency Management to secure the resources and equipment needed, like the barge behind us, for this monumental restoration effort.” said Vidal.

LCEC, State, and local officials and an army of restoration partners share the same mission to restore power as quickly as possible for all LCEC members. “We are very thankful to the Florida Electric Cooperative Association, Duke Energy, and Florida Power and Light for helping us secure the many dedicated and specialized mutual aid power crews and other support staff that was needed,” said Vidal. Additional resources came from within Florida and all areas of the country including AL, AR, GA, MO, NC, NJ, NY, TN, and TX. 

“I also have to thank our locals, and Team LCEC who are so resilient – our customers, first responders, and businesses. We have all joined together to help the community rebuild. You see the efforts on every corner, and everyone’s contribution goes a long way to recovery,” said Vidal. LCEC has over 400 employees who began working tirelessly before the storm, continued during, and have not faltered after the storm to support more than 2,300 line workers. 

“This has truly been a Team Florida event. We will continue powering on until all service is restored in our beautiful SW FL communities.” said Vidal.

Staying safe as power is restored to your home and/or business

Safely restoring power to your home and/or business following any hurricane is extensive. After returning to your home and/or business, customers must assess damage and preform clean-up and repairs which can be difficult. Make that time safe and productive by following these tips:

  • If your electrical equipment has gotten wet or is near water, turn off the power at the main breaker. If you must enter water to access the main switch, call an electrician to turn it off.
  • Do not turn electrical equipment back on until it has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines, as they may still be energized and dangerous. Puddles of water contacting downed lines are just as dangerous.
  • Do not trim trees or remove debris located near downed power lines.
  • If you must remove debris from in or around your home, do not pile it under or near electrical lines or equipment.
  • If appliances were on when the power was lost, make sure all appliances are turned off. If left on, they could pose fire hazards when the power is restored.
  • Refrain from using candles and instead, use a battery-operated flashlight as an alternative light source.
  • Do not re-freeze food once it begins to thaw.
  • Do not use tap water until it is safe. Boil water before drinking until you receive official word that the water is safe.

For more ways to stay safe around electricity, visit

LCEC, FPL, and Duke Energy join Governor Ron DeSantis for power update

October 11, 2022 – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway will allow a one-time convoy of power restoration equipment, supplies, and crews to access Sanibel Island and continue restoration efforts. Once crews are on the island, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will resume repairs to restore access to the island for residents, which is expected to be complete by the end of this month.

The temporary repairs to the bridge allowed over 200 bucket trucks, 150 line and pickup trucks towing 50 trailers and 2 tractor trailers to move onto the island, along with additional first responders to cross the bridge and aid in recovery efforts while final road repairs are underway. This includes crews from across the state, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), Florida Power and Light and members of the Florida Electric Cooperative Association.

Efforts to restore power to Pine Island are also underway. The Governor spearheaded the mission to construct a temporary bridge to Pine Island, which was in less than three days, allowing power restoration crews to access the island and begin repairs. Led by Duke Energy and LCEC, crews have begun to clear debris and rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the storm. By Thursday, LCEC expects to have power restored to one quarter of Pine Island, including the Island’s center, water treatment plant substation and to centrally located grocery stores. Power is expected to be restored to one third of the island and the Matlacha area by next week. 

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