If you are a Floridian who is a really early riser or a night owl, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) may help light your way. The electric cooperative provides power to more than 198,880 residential and commercial customers across five counties in southwestern Florida (Lee County and parts of Collier, Hendry, Charlotte, and Broward counties. The member-owned non-profit electric utility operates more than 8,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines and more than 20 substations. Tampa-based Seminole Electric Cooperative serves as LCEC's wholesale power supplier.
The company's service territory includes Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Pine Island, Everglades City, Immokalee, and parts of Lehigh Acres.
In 2012 LCEC's revenues declined by 0.3% as the result of abnormally mild weather and conservation efforts by customers, coupled with ongoing economic uncertainty, all of which trimmed demand. Net income decreased by 11% in 2012 as the drop in net sales outpaced only slightly lower operating costs for the year.
As part of its non-profit charter, LCEC returns surplus equity to its current and former members. In 2012 its Board of Trustees approved $12.9 million in equity distribution.
The cooperative is working on a number of strategic initiatives in order to keep up with the demands of the growing population in its service area: maintain power quality, enhance disaster recovery competency, keep up with regulatory compliance requirements, implement mobile workforce technology, and keep employees engaged.
To better support its customers, that year LCEC upgraded its website with improved navigation and additional energy management tips and tools.
Under the leadership of Homer Welch (and as part of a nationwide rural electrification drive), LCEC began operations with 15 miles of distribution line and 158 members, or about 1% of Lee County's 1940 population of 17,500.