March 2, 2021 – As boaters hit the beautiful waterways of Southwest Florida, it is imperative to keep the following safety measures in mind. Boats coming into contact with power lines not only poses a risk of power interruptions, it could mean serious injuries and even death.
–Always be aware of power lines when boating or fishing. Be sure to keep at least 10 feet distance between your boat and power lines.
–If your boat comes in contact with a power line, do not jump into the water!! The water could be energized and dangerous. Remain calm and stay in the boat, but do not touch anything metal until help arrives and the boat is no longer in contact with the line.
–If your boat’s wiring is not in compliance with American Yacht Club Standards, hire a professional to get to get your boat’s electrical system in compliance.
–Check that your dockside outlets have GFCIs, and that any cords plugged into the outlets are in good condition without any exposed wires or broken casing.
LCEC thanks all boaters for respecting the importance of boating safely around power lines. Please remember to limit the number of passengers while boating and maintain a safe social-distance to protect yourself and others! For more safety tips, visit www.lcec.net.
February 24, 2021 – This past year has had devastating financial impacts for so many people throughout the world. Even with the help of stimulus money, many of our neighbors are having to making the tough decision between paying the electric bill or the mortgage. You can help someone in need by donating to the LCEC Power to Share Program. This program is a partnership between LCEC and the United Way where short-term emergency assistance is available to customers in LCEC’s service territory who meet the requirements. To make a donation, you can visit the Power to Share page on lcec.net at https://www.lcec.net/about-lcec/community-and-education/power-to-share and fill out the contribution form, or visit www.unitedwaylee.org, click on “Donate Now” and enter LCEC Power to Share. With LCEC’s Power to Share Program, you have the power to care!
February 16, 2021 – In addition to the many simple ways you can save electricity, LCEC offers customers three interactive tools to make saving even easier! Not only will these online tools help you understand and manage your energy usage, they can also help you discover new ways to conserve energy while reducing your electric bill!
SmartHub – This tool helps LCEC customers manage usage, compare monthly bills, receive alerts, convenient pay, and receive important information. It is available on your computer or mobile device.
Interactive Home – Understanding your electric usage is easy and fun with the online Interactive Home. By spending a few minutes clicking through the “virtual” home, you will learn many proven ways to save energy dollars year after year. Many of the energy-saving suggestions are low-cost or no-cost.
Calc-U-Savers – Calc-U-Savers help to answer many of your energy questions by analyzing your usage and assessing ways to save through our energy tips. Calc-U-Savers options include an energy advisor, appliance, lightening, pool/spa, and television.
For more ways to save or to get started with any of these three amazing tools, visit lcec.net.
February 9, 2021 – March 15 is the deadline to apply for LCEC’s 2021 Environmental Funding Awards. To apply for an environmental funding award from LCEC, organizations can visit https://www.lcec.net/about-lcec/community-and-education/environment. 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. For assistance or questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. More than $120,000 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.
February 2, 2021 – In sunny SWFL, 30 percent of cooling costs are attributed to glass and windows. There are several ways to help lessen the load that windows put on your air conditioner. Our LCEC energy experts recommend:
Residential window tint:
Significant air-conditioning savings can be attained by blocking solar heat before it reaches the windows by using special heat-reflecting glass or heat-reflecting glass coatings (residential window tint). Reflective glass or reflective glass coatings should be rated to reflect at least 65 percent of all solar heat to be considered efficient in Southwest Florida. Since east- or west- facing windows are the main source of intrusive heat, it is especially helpful to use shading devices on these windows since they experience many hours of direct sunlight.
Awnings, storm shutters, shade trees and porch or lanai roofs are all very effective in blocking solar heat. To be 100 percent effective, the exterior shading device must never allow direct sunlight to touch the window’s surface. South-facing windows experience a great deal of direct sunlight in the winter months when the sun rides lower in the sky. In the summer, south-facing windows are largely shaded by the overhanging soffit of the roof.
Avoid skylights if possible:
Skylights experience many more hours of direct sunlight than any vertical window and should be avoided if possible. Existing skylights can be tinted, covered, blocked or shaded to lessen their load on the air conditioner.
LCEC energy experts also recommend considering energy-efficient features such as double-pane, low-E glass when upgrading windows. To learn more about how heat enters your home and other green energy tips, visit lcec.net.
January 12, 2021 – LCEC welcomed Sarah Bullock as its Director of Finance and Accounting/Chief Financial Officer. In this position, Bullock will be responsible for directing the fiscal functions of LCEC in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, various other Regulatory and Advisory organizations and in accordance with financial management techniques and practices appropriate within the utility industry.
Bullock joins LCEC from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) where she served as the Regional Vice President with relationship and portfolio management responsibilities for 60 electric distribution cooperatives in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Prior to CFC, she held financial management and accounting positions with Pedernales Electric Cooperative in Texas, Chugach Electric Association in Alaska, and Otero County Electric Cooperative in New Mexico. Bullock has dual Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) in Accounting and Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, all from Colorado Technical University. She is also a member of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives and the Institute of Management Accountants.
December 22, 2020 – For the first time in years, the forecast is calling for a chilly Christmas! Even though we won’t have a white Christmas, the weather may tempt some SWFL folks to crank on the heat. In addition to using items such as electric blankets and space heaters (while paying close attention to the safety precautions), there are simple ways to stay toasty without using any electricity! Here are a few simple ways to celebrate this special week while keeping warm:
Layer your clothing:
Dress in layers during the day and at bedtime. This will help you maintain a comfy body temperature without having to use any electricity. And remember to wear sock to keep your tootsies warm!
Shut your curtains:
Be sure to shut your curtains when the sun goes down to keep the warmth inside your home. Curtains provide a great barrier between you and the chilly nights to come.
Drink warm drinks and cuddle under the blankets:
Make some hot chocolate and grab the blankets for comfy, cuddly nights.
These are just a few of the many simple ways to enjoy the beautiful weather of this week without feeling Grinchy! Happy Holidays from LCEC!
December 15, 2020 – Besides being brighter than the Clark Griswold’s house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there are many reasons to consider investing in LED lights this holiday season:
• LED lights are more energy efficient than incandescent lights. Did you know that 90 percent of the energy produced by incandescent bulbs is released in the form of heat? LEDs use nearly 75 percent less energy than incandescent and last up to 25 times longer!
• LED lights are cool to the touch which makes them a safer option around Christmas trees, wreaths, pets, kids and more!
• LED bulbs don’t burn out. Rather than burning out, LEDs get dimmer over time. In addition to their long lives, these bulbs are plastic and durable which means you don’t have to spend time carefully wrapping them away for next year.
• LED lights come in a every style imaginable!
Although the cost of LED lights is still more pricey than traditional bulbs, the benefits far outweigh a few extra bucks! And those extra bucks are truly an investment in bright, beautiful, energy-efficient lights for many years to come. For more energy saving tips, visit lcec.net.
December 8, 2020 – After the rollercoaster of a year we have had, more people than ever want to get in the holiday spirit by doing such things as decorating in and outside of their homes. And decorating is an absolutely great way to celebrate and embrace the season! As you trim your tree and light your yard, keep electrical safety in mind by following the reminders below:
Inspect all decorations before use.
Damaged sockets, exposed wires and bad connections could cause electrical shock or even a fire! After inspection, use caution when plugging in your holiday decorations. Be careful not to overload outlets. If using incandescent lights, do not connect more than three strands as this could potentially blow a fuse, or worse yet, cause a fire.
Keep your tree watered.
A dry tree is a fire hazard. Water your tree daily, and be sure to remove it from your home when it has died or immediately after the holiday is over.
Choose votives over real candles.
Invest in battery-operated candles which are much safer than normal candles. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), unattended or forgotten candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires.
Use caution with cords.
Be sure to never pinch cords, hide them under furniture, place them near a heat source or secure them with nails or staples. Any of these could cause electric shock or a fire. Unplug all cords when not in use to stay safe while saving electricity!
For more tips on staying safe around electricity, visit lcec.net. Happy holidays from LCEC!
December 1, 2020 – This week will bring chilly temperatures to SWFL, but LCEC reminds customers to consider alternatives to avoid cranking on the heat. Why not turn on the heat? Heating costs anywhere from two to three times more than cooling! An alternative to warm your Florida blood is to use space heaters. They are a cost-effective way to stay warm, but can be dangerous (even deadly) if used improperly. Keep the following tips in mind if you use a space heater this winter:
• Read manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using a space heater.
• Only use space heaters with labels showing that they have been approved by a recognized testing laboratory.
• Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn (such as paper). Keep space heaters as far away as possible from kids, pets, and high-traffic areas.
• Only use space heaters for their intended purpose. Never use a space hater for things such as warming bedding or drying clothes.
• Always turn off, unplug and store space heaters when not in use.
• Plug space heaters directly into wall receptacles. Avoid using extension cords.
• Do not use a space heater if the cords are frayed, worn or damaged in any way. Inspect cords before each and every use.
Space heaters not your thing? Consider an electric blanket. Just like space heaters, electric blankets must be used with caution and in accordance with all the instructions listed in the manufacturer’s instructions. For more energy saving tips, visit lcec.net.