Help Leesburg to Improve Electric Service – And Save Money, Too

You could lower your monthly power bills by helping the City of Leesburg to improve electric service and complete development of new conservation programs.

The city’s electric department soon will roll out several new products that help customers to better monitor their daily energy usage, promote peak-time energy conservation and take control of electric bills like never before. Each project is part of $20 million in improvements the utility is undergoing with support from the U.S Department of Energy and in partnership with G.E. Digital Energy – a world leader in electric distribution and utility support.

The City Commission recently approved two optional incentive rate plans that provide better savings for participating customers who conserve during peak-demand periods – the time of each month when it costs the utility the most to provide electricity.

Peak times typically occur between 3 and 5 p.m. on the hottest days of the year and between 7 and 9 a.m. on the coldest days. That is when most electric consumers throughout this part of Florida use the most electricity, requiring the most from large power plants to keep up with the demand. Therefore, the peaks are when power plants charge the most to provide electricity to utilities like the Leesburg Electric Department.

The cost of peak-time supply makes up a large part of every city electric customer’s monthly power bill. So while the overall cost of electricity is likely to increase in coming years with global energy demand, the best way for you to manage your monthly bills is to control your own peak electric usage.

The city’s new optional pricing plans can help by providing more savings incentives to conserve during the peak. The plans, which will be available to all customers this fall, create lower electric rates during 22 hours of each weekday (all observed federal holidays also have lower rates) and higher rates during the remaining two hours. The more participating customers reduce their electric usage during peak hours, the more they save on their power bills. The new incentive plans are optional and are offered in addition to the city’s standard flat-rate plan.

Leesburg is looking for city electric customers to assist in implementing the incentive rates. As part of the program, participants also will be the first to use Leesburg’s electric customer web portal – My Electric Profile - an informative new Internet site that provides daily updates of electric usage and estimated costs. The portal will roll out later this year and will offer a first-ever opportunity to track your electric usage each day. Check the benefits of your conservation efforts, find out when you use the most electricity, track costs and compare your progress with previous billing periods.

Interested participants must be existing City of Leesburg electric customers who are capable of reducing their electric usage during peak periods. Sign up at www.leesburgflorida.gov and select the “Beat the Peak” program. You also may call the city’s Customer Service Department at (352) 728-9800 to sign up and to find out more information.

Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.