September 22, 2020 – You may be surprised to learn that upwards of 30 percent of your cooling costs is attributed to glass and windows. Even though today marks the start of fall, the weather in sunny Southwest Florida is hot pretty much year-round. Consider the following tips from our energy experts about your home’s window and glass to potentially cut down on your electric usage:
• Significant air-conditioning savings can be attained by blocking solar heat before it reaches the windows, or 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.
• Internal window coverings trap solar heat between them and the window glass until the heat energy warms the air in that space. The heat-laden air flows up to the ceiling, where it waits for the air conditioner to cycle on and draw it in through the filter. This creates an illusion of efficiency when, in fact, the load on the air conditioner has not been altered.
• 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.
• East or west windows are the main source of intrusive heat. It is recommended to use shading devices and tint on east and west windows since they experience many hours of direct sunlight.
• 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.
• Skylights experience many more hours of direct sunlight than any vertical window and should be avoided if possible.
• It is difficult to utilize shading devices to block the sun from entering skylights. Existing skylights can be tinted, covered, blocked or shaded to lessen their load on the air conditioner.
• When upgrading windows, consider energy-efficient features such as double-pane, low-E glass as well as type of frame material.
For more ways to save on your energy usage, visit lcec.net.
September 15, 2020 – Should you be involved in or witness an auto accident involving power lines, it is essential to know what to do to save your life or the life of someone in need. LCEC reminds all drivers to remember to:
Stay in car:
If your car comes in contact with a power pole/line, do NOT leave the car. Your car and the surrounding area of the accident scene could be energized. If you leave the car, you could become the electricity’s path to the ground which could result in serious injury or death from electric shock. It is equally important to not allow bystanders to help as they could be seriously injured or killed.
Call 911 immediately who will alert the responsible utility. Both will come to your aid ASAP!
Wait for the OK:
Do not exit your car until a utility or emergency worker gives you the OK. The only reason to exit your car is if it on fire. If your car is on fire, jump clear of the vehicle with your feet together and hop away with your feet remaining together.
Accidents can be scary! Do your best to remain calm and listen to the instructions of the emergency and utility personnel. The more upset and frazzled you get, the worst the situation will be.
As we juggle new responsibilities such as working remotely, home schooling and selectively leaving our homes during this pandemic, it is more important than ever to focus all of your attention on the road when you are driving.
For more safety tips, visit lcec.net. Safe driving!
September 8, 2020 – LCEC announced that it will provide Environmental Funding Awards to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Future Forestry Corporation, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, and the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. Collectively, these five organizations are being awarded more than $17,000! LCEC’s Environmental Funding Awards are given out twice a year with deadlines happening in March and September. An application can be downloaded at 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. These funding awards are just one of the many ways that LCEC positively impacts and supports wildlife and the environment.
September 1, 2020 – As much of the world has turned to remote work as a result of COVID-19, homes have now become offices. But just because you are spending more time at home doesn’t mean your electric usage has to skyrocket. One simple trick to keep your electric costs low while tackling your remote work is to power down your computer when you are not using it. If shutting down your pc is not an option, LCEC energy experts recommend that you put your computer in sleep mode whenever possible.
Below 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 computer:
• 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 keep energy costs low while sheltering and working from home, visit the Energy Efficiency tab on lcec.net.
August 25, 2020 – September 1 is the deadline to apply for LCEC’s 2020 Environmental Funding Awards. To apply for an environmental funding award from LCEC, organizations can visit www.lcec.net/about-lcec/community-and-education/environment to download the 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. The March 2020 LCEC Environmental Funding Award recipients included the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), Monofilament Busters, I Will Mentorship Foundation, Sanibel Sea School, and the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). More than $110,000 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.
August 18, 2020 – It’s common for LCEC employees to give of their time, talent and heart to energize the community! In an effort to support their passion for philanthropy, LCEC designed the Pay It Forward Program in 2016 to encourage volunteerism and support employees’ efforts to give to their favorite qualifying non-profit organization. In essence, employees who volunteer and track volunteer hours can earn Pay It Forward donation dollars to be awarded to a 501 (c)(3) charity of choice. LCEC employees who volunteer between 50-100 hours in the community can designate a not-for-profit organization to receive up to a $100 donation. Each year since the program’s inception, several remarkable LCEC employees have surpassed the annual 500+ hour mark of community service. Through a “500 Club” zoom celebration this month, LCEC recognized five employees who have donated 500+ hours over the past year. Gary Avin, Nancy Miller, Dana Nicloy, Nicky Sierra, and Aaron Warner donated their time to:
• United Way of Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties
• Parker’s Rainbow Bridge Animal Rescue
• McGregor Clinic
• Odyssey of the Mind
• Calendar Girls
• Guns N’ Hoses
• Healthy Kidz of Tomorrow
• Valerie’s House
• Alliance for the Arts
• Lee Health Foundation
During the annual LCEC 500 Club celebrations, a drawing is held and LCEC donates $500 to the 500 Club winner’s favorite charity. This year’s winner asked that the $500 be divided evenly between all five Club members! LCEC could not be prouder of the amazing employees who continue to energize this community through their passion for giving back!!
August 12, 2020 – LCEC is pleased to announce that CEO Denise Vidal has joined the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools provides vital resources and programs to students and educators throughout the School District of Lee County. Foundation Board Members are assigned to committees and act as liaisons to the business community and community at large through engagement and awareness. For more information, visit leeschoolfoundation.org.
August 11, 2020 – There has been a lot of storm activity since storm season began on June 1. But just because we haven’t had any big storms come our way doesn’t mean we won’t. In addition to having your emergency plan and kit ready, below are some tips for staying safe should a storm come our way:
• 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 need to have an alternate plan in place to ensure the continuity of any life-support needs. This may include making special arrangements to spend time with a friend or relative during an outage or using a back-up generator.
• If 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 your main electrical panel. If installed incorrectly, power could flow into outside lines and injure you, your neighbors or utility crews working in the area.
• Avoid detaining LCEC employees while they are working to restore power. This can be distracting and cause an accident.
For more storm-related tips, information on how power is restored after a storm and much more helpful advice, download LCEC’s Hurricane Guide from lcec.net.
August 4, 2020 – Just because it’s hot, hot, hot outside doesn’t mean your electric bill has to make you feel any hotter! In fact, simple efforts can leave you feeling like a cool energy saver. LCEC reminds customers to do the following to keep electric costs as low as possible during the sweltering SWFL summer:
• When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree below adds 8 to 12
• While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
• Be sure your thermostat fan switch is set on the “auto” setting. This is more economical for temperature and humidity control.
• Do not close A/C vents or interior doors when A/C is running.
• Service your air conditioning system annually.
• Change or clean filters monthly.
• Keep windows and exterior doors closed when running your air conditioner. Also, use caulk and weather strip around windows and doors.
• Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which use 75% less energy, or LED lamps (light emitting diode), which use 85% less energy with a life expectancy of 30,000 to 50,000 hours of run time.
• Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.
• Install reflective window tint/film that will reflect 65 percent or better on windows facing east, west or south. LCEC also recommends installing awnings, storm shutters and planting shade trees.
Here’s to using these cool tips during this hot summer to keep electric costs low and your spirits high as we weather all that 2020 continues to bring our way!
July 28, 2020 – COVID-19 has forced the world to limit outings and stay at home. Many people are embracing the outdoors as a means of getting sunshine, exercise and shaking off cabin fever. No one loves the outdoors and summertime like kids! As kids explore the outdoors, it is imperative for parents to remind kiddos of the following outdoor electric safety rules:
Visit lcec.net for more information on electrical safety and more! LCEC wishes all kids a happy and safe end of summer!
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