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LCEC’s 8th Annual Goblin Gallop 5K Run/Walk for United Way

LCEC’s 8th Annual Goblin Gallop 5K Run/Walk for United Way

September 17, 2019 – LCEC will be holding its 8th Annual LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K to benefit the United Way on October 26, 2019. The 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run will be held at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral, Florida. Registration/check-in begins at 7 a.m. and the race starts at 7:30 a.m. The Kids Fun Run will immediately follow the 5K. Advance registration is $25 for ages 18 and over ($30 day of), $20 for ages 13-17 ($30 day of), and $15 for the Kids Fun Run for ages 12 and under. Last year’s event raised over $1,000 for United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties with more than 100 runners, walkers, volunteers and supporters attending. For race and sponsorship information, visit https://uw.lcec.net/SitePages/5k.aspx, email 5K@lcec.net or call 239-656-2380.

At LCEC, giving back to our community is a core value. LCEC holds an annual United Way Campaign which includes corporate donations, employee donation pledges, and monies collected through various LCEC fundraising events. All proceeds are donated to United Way who support a local service network of 96 agencies and over 260 programs that create positive change.

Power down or sleep mode…what to know!

September 9, 2019 – There are many simple and free ways to save on your electric bill. One simple trick is to power down your computer when you are not using it. If shutting down your pc is not an option for you, LCEC energy experts recommend that you put your computer in sleep mode whenever possible. Here is the cost difference for keeping your desktop computer with an LCD screen on 24/7 for all 365 days in a year:
• Fully powered: approximately $89
• Sleep mode: approximately $20

Below are some additional ways to save when it comes to your home computers:
• Power off monitor if you will be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes.
• Power off your computer and monitor if you will be away from your computer for more than two hours.
• Ditch your desktop for a laptop which uses substantially less electricity.
• Look for the Energy Star logo when purchasing electronics.

For more ways to cut your energy costs, visit the Energy Efficiency tab on lcec.net.

Generator safety tips from LCEC

September 3, 2019 – Although Dorian may not impact our area with category 5 strength winds, there may be some isolated outages. Crews are ready to respond and we don’t expect extended outages requiring backup power supply. Just in case, when operating a generator, safety is of the utmost importance. Please consider the following tips to keep you, your family, and utility workers safe while using a generator:

• 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.

One surefire way to protect yourself, your home and our hard-working utility workers is to invest in GenerLink™. Offered by LCEC, GenerLink™ eliminates the use of extension cords and other hazardous connections by providing a safe connection from the electric meter directly to the generator. It also detects when a generator is operating and automatically disconnects from the utility grid, eliminating dangerous backfeed.
Additional benefits of GenerLink™ include:
• Easiest and safest generator connection.
• Allows customers to run virtually any appliances up to the capacity of their generator.
• Easily installed behind the electric meter by a certified LCEC technician.
• Connection at the meter keeps your portable generator outside where it is safe.
• Seven year manufacturer’s warranty.

Generators can make a huge difference following a major storm, but injury or fatality can result from improper use. Visit lcec.net or call 239-656-2300 for more information about GenerLink™ and even more tips about using generators safely.

How does LCEC prepare for storm season?

August 29, 2019 – Long before storm season, utilities develop response plans and options to mitigate damage and recover from destruction as quickly as possible. Experience from past storms helps in the planning process and the ability to incorporate lessons learned ensures rapid recovery. Southwest Florida has had their fair share of storms and LCEC restoration plans have been refined over the years.

Investment in systems and programs yearlong is aimed at reducing vulnerabilities. LCEC continually hardens the electric system by proactively inspecting, identifying potential problem areas and aging infrastructure, and repairing or replacing before the storm rolls in. Routine vegetation management helps to keep lines clear of trees and brush that could cause power outages.

No crisis can be managed without skill, knowledge, resources, and patience. Every employee and LCEC vendor is on deck when the threat of a storm rears its ugly head. The restoration plan is practiced long before the first tracking model is published and many potential scenarios are considered. No storm is the same and there is no way to know what each situation will bring. However, a plan for additional resources, places to feed and house them, extra fuel, additional inventory and equipment, communications, fleet maintenance, and many other details are all proactively considered so that boots can be on the ground as quick as possible to restore critical infrastructure and help the community get back to normal.

How can you help in the restoration process?
Developing a plan for your family or business is critical. Remaining safe and comfortable without power is not a thrill but it is possible. Practice your plan and implement it when needed. Be patient and trust that utilities and their people are working as hard as possible to restore service quickly. Use the information in this guide to make your life easier while they work.

Immediately after a major storm, there is no need to report an outage. Utilities will assess the damage and know where repairs are needed. After a few days, if you are the only one in your location without service, that is the time to contact your provider.

Work together as a community while utilities focus on restoration. If you have power, offer assistance to others without. Offer encouragement and support to all emergency responders. As frustrated as you may be, remember they are away from their families and working under challenging conditions to help you get on with your lives.

Protect your children from electrical hazards

August 27, 2019 – Once you become a parent, there are millions of things to worry about. Electrical hazards in your home doesn’t have to be one of them. There are oodles of gadgets designed to help baby-proof your home. Along with those security gizmos, it is important to keep the following in mind to keep your tiny tots safe:

Extension Cords:
Avoid using power strips in your child’s room. Not only can a child grab the cord (and pull down whatever it is attached to), there is always a chance your child might chew on the cord.

Outlet Caps/Covers:
Invest in outlet caps/covers. These caps are super inexpensive and come in bulk. These plastic caps plug directly into power outlets and are nearly impossible for little fingers to grip onto. Keeping tiny tots from sticking fingers or anything else into power outlets is more than a suggestion, it is must-do!

Nightlights:
Use nightlights to keep your toddling youngsters safe in the dark. There are even outlet-mounted nightlights that fit over a duplex receptacle, blocking unused electrical holes from curious tots.

Replace or Repair:
If your appliances are not working properly or feel hot/tingly to the touch, contact a licensed electrician immediately. This professional can detect problems and fix them immediately.

In addition to the above mentioned tips which help to protect your tots from electrical hazards, it is important to invest in locks for toilet bowls, stoves, refrigerators, and drawers, and straps to secure televisions and furniture. You can find something to baby-proof just about anything and everything in your home…and it is definitely worthwhile to do so!

Outage map available at lcec.net

August 20, 2019 – As diligently as LCEC works to keep the lights on for customers, power outages occasionally happen. Power outages can happen for a variety of causes including storms, animals, vehicle accidents, fallen trees and even sailboats coming into contact with power lines. Through our automated outage system that tracks customer calls, field crews are dispatched ASAP to impacted areas. Restoration begins with repairs that restore service to the largest number of customers in the least amount of time. In the event of an outage, customers can view the LCEC Outage Map at lcec.net to stay informed as restoration takes place. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding during power outages. Customers can rest assured knowing that LCEC works around the clock to deliver the power that energizes our community!

Stay away from the big green box

August 13, 2019 – They are big, green, and sit in residential neighborhoods. These big green boxes are called pad-mounted transformers and caution must be used around them.

What are pad-mounted transformers?
Pad-mounted transformers work in the same capacity as the transformers (gray cans) on the top of electric poles do. In essence, they convert higher-voltage electricity to a lower voltage so that it is safe and useful for your home. The only difference is that pad-mounted transformers work with underground power lines while transformers on the pole work directly with the overhead electric lines.

How can I stay safe around pad-mounted transformers?
Pad-mounted transformers are locked and marked as dangerous. These big green boxes should never be used as benches, nor should kids play on or near them. Landscaping should not be planted around these boxes as power linemen may need to access them safely and easily, and any roots could interfere with underground wires. Never, ever dig anywhere near a pad-mounted transformer. It is just as important for people to be safe around underground power lines and pad-mounted transformers as it is to be safe around overhead power lines.

For more ways to stay safe around electricity, visit lcec.net.

Call for LCEC Environmental Funding Award Applications

August 6, 2019 – September 1 is the deadline to apply for LCEC’s 2019 Environmental Funding Awards. To apply for an environmental funding award from LCEC, organizations can email pr@lcec.net to receive an application. Interested organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including being located within LCEC service territory, funding utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry, and having a demonstrated need for funds. Funding is awarded twice a year with deadlines happening in March and September. Nearly $100,000 has been awarded since the program’s inception in 2013. LCEC’s Environmental Funding Award Program is just one of the many ways that LCEC positively impacts and supports wildlife and the environment.

Tips for evacuating before a storm

July 30, 2019 – So far so good this storm season, but there is no way to predict what Mother Nature has in store for the remainder of this unnerving time of year. If a storm does rear its ugly head and you live in a mobile home, coastal area, flood prone area or a high-rise, evacuation is worth considering. If a storm poses a large enough risk to life, mandatory evacuations could happen. Below are tips to keep in mind should you evacuate:

• Evacuate during daylight hours if possible and make sure your home is secure before you leave.
• Map your evacuation route and use routs specified by authorities.
• Notify family and neighbors that you are evacuating.
• Turn off electricity at your main breaker or consider unplugging all of your electrical devices, except for your refrigerator.
• Take photo identification, emergency kit and important documents.
• Fill jugs of water to fill the freezer.
• Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting.

For more storm-related tips, lists and tools, download LCEC’s Hurricane Guide from lcec.net.

Preparing your home for a storm

July 23, 2019 – We are in the midst of storm season. By now, you should have your family’s disaster plan and kit ready to go if the situation calls for it. But is your home prepared if a storm comes to SWFL? The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. Below are tips to help you prepare your home:

• Protect your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood.
• Trim dead branches from trees and shrubs around your home, avoiding those close to power lines.
• Clear your patio and yard of furniture, potted plants, toys and other debris.
• Anchor items that cannot be taken inside.
• Turn off and unplug the TV before lowering an antenna or satellite dish.
• Protect your electronics with surge protection devices.
• Reinforce your garage door at its weakest points.
• Inspect doors and add extra locks or slide bolts.
• Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs.

For everything you need to know before, during and after a storm, download the LCEC Hurricane Guide from lcec.net.

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