LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative


Have you enrolled in SmartHub yet? Use the tool to manage usage, compare monthly bills, receive alerts, convenient pay, and receive important information. Available on your computer or mobile device.

Shopping Cart


Copper Theft – It’s not worth it!

Copper Theft – It’s not worth it!

Whether you live in rural Southwest Florida surrounded by produce farms and cattle or in the suburbs of a larger city, copper theft is a crime running rampant throughout the state and country, affecting electric utilities throughout Florida. As copper prices have increased, so have copper thefts. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates that there are more than 50,000 copper thefts from electric utilities alone each year in the U.S. Not only is copper theft illegal, it poses serious public safety concerns, and could impact LCEC’s ability to provide affordable and reliable electricity.

Electric substations are dangerous and could be deadly for anyone who is not a trained LCEC employee. Someone unfamiliar with a functioning substation, full of energized electrical wires and electrically charged equipment, is vulnerable to making a fatal mistake. The ESFI estimates approximately 35 people die every year from attempted copper theft. Replacement wire and repairs affect the cost of doing business for utilities, and depending on the amount of damage, if any, that occurred to electric equipment during the theft, electric service may be disrupted. 

In an effort to deter this crime, Florida’s electric cooperatives successfully promoted a copper theft bill in the Florida legislature that was signed into law in 2012, and amended in 2013 to make the penalties more severe. Today, copper thieves in Florida could receive a prison sentence of up to 30 years, as well as a fine up to $10,000. In addition, once inside the substation, copper thieves can be prosecuted for trespassing on private property, which is owned by the electric cooperative.

What can you, the Member consumer, do to help LCEC? If you notice or suspect any unusual activity at an LCEC substation, or any other electric facility, call your local law enforcement or 239-656-2300 to report a possible crime. By supporting Florida’s zero tolerance for copper theft, you will not only be helping your electric cooperative, but you may be saving a life.

NOTICE: You are leaving the LCEC website

By selecting the “Continue” button below you will be leaving the LCEC website and entering a website hosted by another party. Please be advised that you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of the LCEC website Privacy Policy, and that LCEC is not responsible for the content or accuracy of the information on the website. We encourage you to review the privacy policy on the site you are entering before providing any personally identifiable or confidential information.

NOTICIA: Usted está saliendo de la página de internet de LCEC.

Seleccionando el boton “Continuar” ud. estará saliendo de la página de internet de LCEC e ingresará a una página de internet acogida por una compañia tercera. Por favor note que ud. no estará sujeto a o bajo la protección y reglas de privacidad de la página de internet de LCEC. LCEC no es responsable por el contenido y veracidad de la información en la página de internet. Antes de proceder y proveer cualquier información personal o confidencial, le sugerimos que revise las reglas de privacidad en el sitio de internet al que ud. está ingresando.