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LE Content Manager 2
LE Content Manager 2
LE Content Manager 2's Blog

Reduced Fuel Charge

LAKELAND ELECTRIC TO REDUCE FUEL CHARGE NEXT QUARTER

EFFECTIVE July 1, 2019

LAKELAND, Fla. (June 5, 2019) - The Lakeland City Commission voted Monday to lower the electric fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers for the next fiscal quarter (July/Aug./Sept. - 2019). After giving a presentation at the Monday, June 3rd Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended lowering the fuel charge by $1.00 from $37.50 to $36.50. The lower rate was made possible by mild Spring weather, lower natural gas prices than expected, and an extended outage of Unit 3 which caused less coal consumption.

The fuel charge will change to 3.650¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh). Multiplying the new fuel charge by 1,000 kWh, the amount an average residential home utilizes in a month, the cost equals $36.50 per 1,000 kWh for fuel.

The reduction of the fuel charge will help our customers keep their electric costs low. In fact, Lakeland Electric continues to have some of the lowest electric rates in the state. As with most electric utilities that generate their own power, the cost of fuel is passed directly to customers. This makes the fuel charge an important part of Lakeland Electric’s ongoing effort to keep our customer’s electric costs low. 

Residential Rates Based on 1,000 kWh

Current

Rates – Effective July 2019

Base Charge* (see below for breakdown of charges)

$64.10

$64.10

Fuel Charge

$37.50

$36.50

TOTAL:

$101.60

$100.60


 

*Base Charge

 

Customer Charge

$ 11.00/month

 

Energy & Smart Grid Charges

$50.99/1000 kWh

 

Environmental Charge

$ 2.11/1000 kWh


SCAM Warning!

Empower yourself against utility scams

Lakeland Electric wants to make customers aware of a variety of scams that frequently target utility customers. Lakeland Electric representatives will never call requesting payment or ask for your bank or credit card information over the phone. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any call, email or visit from someone claiming to be from Lakeland Electric, especially one in which payment is requested, you should contact us directly at customerservice@lakelandelectric.com or 863-834-9535. Being well informed can help you detect suspicious behavior and ultimately help you to avoid a scam. Below is the latest scam that could affect you. Call your local law enforcement if you suspect any of these:

Small Business Scams

Scammers know that small businesses depend on electricity, internet connectivity and phone service in order to operate. They may call claiming that the bill for a vital service is overdue, and threaten to cut off the electricity or disconnect phone service if payment isn't made immediately. They’re counting on you being so panicked that you'll agree to pay the "bill" by credit card or prepaid debit card over the phone. Lakeland Electric will send out written notices giving you several chances to pay before disconnection. Lakeland Electric will never call demanding payment. Some of the scammers also have the ability to manipulate the phone number seen via caller I.D. to display as if the call is coming from a Lakeland Electric phone line. Pay over the phone only if you initiated the call to the authorized number on your bill (863) 834-9535. Don’t call any number the caller gave you.


Green Dot MoneyPak/Phone Scams
This scam targets small commercial businesses and attempts to collect payment. The scheme works like this: Customers receive a call telling them their electric service is scheduled for immediate disconnection and they need to make a payment by purchasing a "Green Dot MoneyPak" at a local convenience store. The "Green Dot MoneyPak" card is a temporary pre-paid credit card.  After the customer purchases the card, they are told to call back and provide a receipt and PIN number. Once that information is obtained, the money on the card is then transferred to those behind the scheme. Pay over the phone by only calling the authorized number on your bill (863) 834-9535. Don’t call any number the caller gave you.



View Top 10 Utility Scams

REPORT FRAUD OR SCAMS
If you get a call like this, please contact us by calling (863) 834-9535. You can also contact the authorities listed below:
Federal Trade Commission (File a complaint online)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force


If you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, it is critical that you take the following actions:
• Call the financial institutions and credit card companies that you deal with to inform them of the situation
• Call one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) to report it and place an alert on your account. The agency you contact will notify the other two bureaus
• Call the Social Security Administration if your Social Security card or number is stolen
• Change the PIN (personal identification number) and password to all of your online accounts
• File a police report and get a copy of it for your records
• File a complaint and an Identify Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission
• Remember to keep a record of what happened and the actions that you took to resolve the issue



Closing McIntosh Unit 3

Lakeland Electric presented their plan to close McIntosh Unit 3, a coal-fired power plant, by fall of 2024 to the Lakeland Utilities Committee during their May meeting. Here are some frequently asked questions about the plan:

Q1: When did Lakeland Electric decide to shutter McIntosh Unit 3?

A1: Coal-fired power plants are typically designed with a life expectancy of 30 years. McIntosh Unit 3, built in 1982, is currently 37 years old. Although some coal units have run longer than their design life, McIntosh 3 has recently exhibited signs of degrading material condition and has been faced with environmental challenges that have caused management to seriously consider developing a shuttering scenario. Additionally, a significant number of employees nearing retirement suggested an opportunity to phase out the unit while lessening the impact on the workforce. The combination of these factors resulted in a shuttering scenario announced in Spring of 2019 with closure sometime in the fall of 2024, when the unit would be 42 years old.

Q2: What information did you consider?

A2: Management considered the age of the unit, the cost of operating it relative to more efficient units such as McIntosh Unit 5, historical data which indicates a declining number of hours of operation, recent experience with costly maintenance discoveries during planned outages, and the costly environmental challenges Unit 3 would face in the near future. We also considered capital and O&M spending trends and the expected increasing trends going forward, as well as the opportunity to plan a shuttering timeline that would match the expected attrition of staff due to retirements over the coming years.

Q3: Why was this decision made?

A3: McIntosh Unit 3 is an aging coal unit with many costly challenges ahead, and the question is not if it should be shuttered but when. Considering all things, the timing appears right for a shuttering over a five-year horizon.

Q4: Can’t we refurbish the unit?

A4: Gas repowering would be very expensive, and would leave Lakeland Electric with a unit whose efficiency would not often place it in a dispatch scenario. The unit would also not serve peaking demands well as it takes many hours to start up.

Q5: When will McIntosh Unit 3 cease operations?

A5: The current target is fall of 2024, although a significant equipment failure, regulatory requirement, or other unexpected development, could result in a sooner closure.

Q6: What is the capacity of McIntosh Unit 3?

A6: Approximately 365 Megawatts, of which Lakeland Electric owns 60%, or 220 Megawatts, and Orlando Utilities owns the other 40%, or 145 Megawatts. An internal study suggests Lakeland Electric would need to acquire 136 Megawatts of replacement capacity in 2024.

Q7: What impact will this have on Lakeland Electric’s workforce?

A7: Coal-fired units require a significantly larger workforce than similar sized gas-fired combined cycle units like McIntosh Unit 5, so there would be a significant effect on staffing. Management is currently working through the analysis of the staffing needs for future generation, and will do all we can to minimize the effect of this action on employees.

Recent related media articles:

The Ledger: Lakeland Electric to shutdown Unit 3 by fall 2024

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando and Lakeland coal power plant set to retire

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy: Another Florida Coal Plant to Go the Way of the Dinosaurs


LE Customer Appreciation Baseball game

Lakeland Electric’s Customer Appreciation Baseball Game with the Flying Tigers is April 27. Come out and enjoy a free game on us. To get into the game, present your Lakeland Electric utility bill and you will receive four (4) complimentary tickets.

We recommend picking up your tickets before game day for best seat selections and to avoid long lines on game day. You may use a paper or a digital bill.

This year, Lakeland Electric is holding a contest to give two winners four (4) free suite seats and the chance to throw out the first pitch. We’re holding this contest through a food drive at the game to support VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly. The two customers who bring the most non-perishable food to Joker Marchant Stadium on April 27 between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm will win.

The game begins at 6 pm at the Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd. The Lakeland Flying Tigers host the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Following the game, there will be a fireworks extravaganza for everyone to enjoy. There is nothing like baseball and fireworks to get everyone in the mood for summertime. Pick up your tickets today.

Box Office Hours:
Mon-Fri (off days): 10 am – 5 pm
Sat (only on game days): 2 pm – till end of game
Sun (only on game days): 11 am – till end of game
Phone: (863) 413-4140

Follow Lakeland Electric social media for the latest updates:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

As a municipal utility, Lakeland Electric ranks giving back to the community as a high priority. We do this in many ways. We offer grants to local charities, scholarships to students, and sponsor and volunteer at many community events throughout the year. Another way we give back is by supporting local sports organizations. These organizations utilize our city facilities, boost our local economy, and enhance our customer’s quality of life.