Power bills to drop

Sun Times Staff Report
  • The residential rate for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will fall to $102.50, a drop of almost nine percent from 2013 rate levels

Beginning July 1, LCEC electric rates will fall for the fifth time in the last three years, thanks to a rate reduction approved this morning by the LCEC Board of Trustees.

The residential rate for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) will fall to $102.50, a drop of almost nine percent from 2013 rate levels. This places LCEC rates far below the average charged by the state’s municipal and investor-owned utilities ($112.42 and $123.98, respectively). Based on currently available information, only 4 of the 55 electric utilities in Florida have lower residential rates for electricity at that usage level.

“I’m tremendously proud of the work our employees do every day to deliver on our promise of providing the lowest reasonably achievable price for reliable electric service,” said Dennie Hamilton, executive vice president and CEO of LCEC. “As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, LCEC is not in the business to earn a profit for shareholders, but rather to serve our members, who with this reduction will pay less now for electricity than they have since 2006.”

According to Hamilton, the benefits of cooperative membership go beyond low electric rates. Cooperative members provide funds to operate their electric utility and are allocated equity annually, a portion of which is retired and returned to members when financially feasible. LCEC returned more than $10 million to active and inactive cooperative members in 2016.

“Beyond our formal electric rates, the benefits of cooperative membership can be quantified as an effective rate discount to our customers of just over seven percent,” said Hamilton. “We are laser-focused on achieving our long-range business objective of remaining one of the lowest-cost residential electric providers in Florida.”

About LCEC: The LCEC headquarters in North Fort Myers, Florida, is in the same location where the cooperative originated in 1940. Approximately 375 skilled employees are positioned throughout the five-county service territory, working varied schedules to ensure customers’ energy needs are met around the clock. For information, call Public Relations Manager Karen Ryan at 656-2204, or Senior Public Relations Specialist Laura Puerto at 656-2202