June 24, 2020 – LCEC will begin normal collection activities in July. When COVID-19 reared its ugly head, LCEC took measures to try to ease the financial burden on customers by suspending disconnection for non-payment, waiving late fees, returning $12 million in equity to active and inactive members, and contributing funds to the Power to Share Program for energy assistance. Many utilities throughout the state of Florida have already resumed the collection process or will restart disconnection protocol in July. “This decision is tough and does not come lightly. It is based on helping customers avoid building up a large balance and having an impact on all customers through accumulated bad debt for the cooperative,” said CEO Denise Vidal. Close to $1 million in LCEC late fees have been waived since the pandemic impacted SWFL.
LCEC customers are encouraged to enroll in SmartHub now to request payment extensions, or call the contact center at 239-656-2300 for assistance or to set up payment arrangements. Customers are also urged to seek financial assistance while it’s still available through State and local financial assistance programs. “Customers should know that we will find solutions to help them meet their personal responsibility to LCEC so that we can fulfill our financial requirements with our power supplier and lenders,” said Public Relations Manager Karen Ryan.
LCEC takes great pride in helping those in need throughout the communities it serves. Corporate stewardship has been part of the not-for-profit electric cooperative culture since establishment in 1940. LCEC is only in business to serve its members daily, and in times of crisis. “We sincerely thank our customers for their continued support, understanding and patience as we navigate through these uncertain times together,” Vidal said.
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