Consumer Guide Copy
Welcome to Florida Keys Electric Cooperative (FKEC), a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving the Upper and Middle Keys. By establishing electric service with FKEC, you have become a member-owner of your home-town Cooperative.
At FKEC we work year round to maintain 99% reliability and are proud to be a progressive employer and influential community partner that sets the benchmark in providing high quality, environmentally sensitive, and safe electrical power.
Please review this guide for key member information, services and benefits. Additional information is available at online or by calling FKEC at 305-852-2431 or 800-858-8845.
FKEC, Then and Now
In 1940, a group of local leaders founded FKEC in an effort to bring centralized power to our area. At the time of incorporation, FKEC was made up of only 300 accounts and our assets consisted of one small generating plant in Tavernier and two portable units in Marathon.
Today we serve approximately 33,000 accounts from the Monroe-Dade County line to the Seven Mile Bridge. In our service territory we currently operate six substations, two office facilities, and maintain over 800-miles of power lines.
As a distribution Cooperative, FKEC also maintains a 138,000 volt transmission line, which brings power from the mainland to the Florida Keys. FKEC purchases nearly 100% of its energy needs from Florida Power & Light (FPL). Generators in Marathon and FKEC’s two solar arrays also contribute to our power supply.
The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Difference
One difference between Florida Keys Electric Cooperative and an investor-owned utility is that you, the members, own FKEC. As a member-owner, you invest in your electric utility monthly by paying your electric bill. FKEC then issues its members a return on this investment in the form of “Capital Credits.”
This “return” is the revenue FKEC earns in excess of its expenses (called margins). These Capital Credits reflect your ownership in FKEC but are not immediately returned to you. The reason for the lag time in receiving returns is that FKEC, like most cooperatives, uses your investment in lieu of borrowing funds from a lender to improve and maintain the electrical system and keep costs low.
After reviewing the Cooperative’s finances each year, the Board of Directors determines whether a portion of Capital Credits can be returned that year. Distributions may be paid either by check or as a credit applied to a member’s bill.
Another benefit of your Co-op membership is democratic control or equal say. Unlike corporations, your voting rights are not limited by the amount of shares you own. With a cooperative it doesn’t matter how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you buy or how many accounts you have in your name – you have one membership and one vote.
Your Board of Directors
An important use of your vote is to elect representatives to the FKEC Board of Directors. These directors represent your best interests and are tasked with keeping the Co-op focused on improving the quality of the power delivered to you and your community. Our directors make important decisions and take their positions very seriously.
FKEC’s board is composed of nine Upper and Middle Keys residents representing four districts: Key Largo, Tavernier, Islamorada and Marathon. The directors serve three-year terms and must reside in the districts they represent. The board meets every month. Meeting dates and times, as well as meeting minutes, agendas and director profiles are available online.
FKEC operates in accordance with the company’s bylaws. The bylaws (PDF) are available online at, at a FKEC office, or a copy can be requested by phone at 305-852-2431.
Concern for Community
As a cooperative being an influential community partner and working toward the sustainable development of our community is a value FKEC whole-heartedly embraces.
One way FKEC gives back to our community is through a Charitable Trust. The Trust is a volunteer board that oversees the millions of dollars you, our members, give through Operation Round-Up®.
Members participating in Operation Round-Up® agree to have their bills “rounded up” to the nearest dollar. The FKEC Members Charitable Trust Board then allocates 100% of the funds to local individuals or families with special needs or requests in the Middle and Upper Keys communities.
Keeping You Informed
Keeping you informed is important to us. FKEC provides timely information in the monthly Florida Currents magazine, via our website and also through quarterly news emails. We strive to share company news and, maybe more importantly, tips and information to help you use electricity more responsibly.
Access past and present newsletters and FKEC news releases at www.fkec.com.
The co-op also communicates with members via Facebook and Twitter.
Billing and Payment Options
All electric accounts are billed once a month in accordance with our meter reading schedule. Bills are due upon receipt and become delinquent if not paid by 5 p.m. 20 days after the “bill mailed” date. Delinquent accounts are subject to a late charge of 1.5% per month and to disconnection 7 days after delinquency. When service is disconnected due to non-payment, disconnect/reconnect fees will apply. Failure to receive a bill does not release you from your obligation to pay.
By Phone Call 855-385-9912
Pay by phone 24/7 using your account info or phone number, and either your checking account or credit/debit card. During the process you may register for automatic payments.
Online via FKEC’s SmartHub
Access Your Account — Once you complete the quick one-time required registration you can view and pay your bill, access your account history and usage, setup auto pay and paperless billing, as well as update your contact information.
One-Time Payment — No registration required. All you need is an FKEC account number and last name of the primary member, or the business name, as it appears on the billing statement.
SmartHub Mobile App — Pay your bill from your mobile device by downloading the app.
Automatic, Recurring Bill Pay
Setup Recurring Credit Card or Bank Draft Payments online OR complete a Bank Draft Authorization Form and return the completed form to our office, along with a voided check.
By U.S. Mail
FKEC, P.O. Box 377, Tavernier, FL 33070
In Person, open 8am-5pm, M-F
91630 Overseas Hwy., Tavernier, FL 33070
3421 Overseas Hwy., Marathon, FL 33050
Drive-through and night drop available at both.
Understanding Your FKEC Residential Electric Bill
- Bill Mailed is the date from which you have 20 days to pay your bill. Bills paid more than 20 days after the ‘Bill Mailed’ date are considered delinquent and subject to late fees and disconnection.
- Phone Number(s), make sure both numbers are current.
- Daily System Access Charge is a “service availability charge” to cover costs involved in having power available to each active meter.
- Energy Charge of $0.033 per kilowatt hour helps FKEC cover the expenses involved in delivering energy to each account. The first 1,000 kWh of electricity usage each month is not subject to an energy charge.
- Power Cost is the cost of power purchased from FPL, our primary supplier of electricity. It is passed directly to members with no mark-up or add-on, and varies monthly.
- Equity Charge is a formula rate rider that is adjusted annually, either positive or negative, to help FKEC attain the optimum margins needed to properly maintain the system to provide safe reliable power.
- Outdoor Lighting Charge is the cost if you ordered an outdoor light.
- Outdoor Lighting Sales Tax is
Florida state sales tax for outdoor light rental.
- Gross Receipt Tax is a 2.563% tax assessed to every bill from the state of Florida.
- Operation Round-Up® is a voluntary program that “rounds up” your electric bill to the next whole dollar, and gives100% of all funds raised to those in need.
- Total Due/Delinquent Date
Members not enrolled in our automatic payment program will see a delinquent date printed under the total due.
Tracking Your Power Usage
The more you know about the power you use, the more you can save by using it wisely. To track your electricity usage accurately, compare your own bills in the same month, but for different years. Consider any FKEC rate adjustments, additional services you have added, and climate or living habits. And remember, comparing your electric bill to a friend’s or neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges because families don’t have the same habits, appliances, or billing cycles.
To easily monitor your home or business’s power usage log in to your online FKEC SmartHub account at https://fkec.smarthub.coop. By visiting the “My Usage” section of the website, you can analyze and understand usage trends to find ways to cut back.
Once you have an FKEC SmartHub account, any co-op member can create and track a monthly budget to avoid unexpected high utility bills. You can also set a point or range in time to compare differences in usage, and compare your use and costs.
SmartHub is available online and via the mobile app at the App Store or Google Play..
Meter Reading and Meter Access
FKEC installs meters that are read electronically – in most cases, eliminating the need for FKEC personnel to enter a member’s property – However, Co-op crews may require access to the meter from time to time.
By requesting service from FKEC, you are granting 24-hour access to your meter for meter reading, maintenance, vegetation management and emergencies. It is the member’s responsibility to see there are no obstacles, debris or pets preventing FKEC personnel safe access to the meter.
Remember, FKEC is responsible for the maintenance of the meter, but it is the member who is responsible for maintenance of the service from the meter socket, through the weatherhead, including all associated vegetation management. The Cooperative appreciates your cooperation in maintaining your equipment and providing FKEC safe access to your meter.
For more information about your meter or how to read the device visit Billing Information & Fees.
Meter Tampering is Illegal!
Tampering with metering or electrical equipment is illegal, dangerous and costly to all FKEC members! If you suspect someone is tampering with a FKEC meter or other electrical equipment, please call 305-852-2431 or email email@example.com. Reports are confidential.
There are several pieces of equipment that work together to bring power into your home or business. The Co-op is responsible for servicing and maintaining all facilities up to the point of delivery, which is normally the weatherhead. Any damage to these lines or equipment up to the point of delivery, including the meter, will be corrected as quickly as possible by FKEC personnel and at the Cooperative’s expense.
All wiring and equipment after the point of delivery belongs to the member-consumer and maintenance is your responsibility. This includes the meter can, service riser (conduit), attachment hardware, weatherhead and all associated vegetation management. Members should contact an independent electrician to make any necessary repairs or improvement.
If you inadvertently damage or notice that damage has occurred to FKEC electric facilities, it is the member’s responsibility to give prompt notice to FKEC. Call 305-852-2431 or 800-858-8845 if you see a power line down or other damaged equipment.
Help Your Co-op
FKEC works daily to maintain the utility’s over 700 miles of distribution lines. To help your Cooperative maintain a strong reliable power system, report any problems you see with electric utility equipment (i.e. poles, pole top equipment, service drops and power lines) by calling 305-852-2431.
Identifying potential problems before they occur is one way FKEC maintains a 99% reliability rating.
You can also help maintain reliability and safety by keeping power lines clear. FKEC urges members and the general public not to attach objects to utility poles. Posting signs or attaching items to utility poles poses a safety hazard for FKEC linemen performing maintenance and repairs to our lines.
Reporting Power Outages
Call 305-852-2431 • 800-858-8845
Although FKEC works year-round to prevent electric service from being interrupted, power outages are not 100% preventable. Should an outage occur, employees are standing by to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To restore outages as quickly and safely as possible FKEC uses an Outage Mapping System. The system matches your phone number with your service address to rapidly pinpoint trouble areas and dispatch personnel and equipment with maximum efficiency.
Should an outage occur, we ask that you help us to restore power with minimum delay by following these steps:
- Check your breaker panel or fusebox. A blown fuse or tripped breaker can be the cause of the outage, and should be addressed by the home owner.
- If your fuses and circuit breakers are fine and if it is possible, see if your neighbors are also without power. This will help our linemen know if it is just your service.
- If you cannot restore your power by resetting the circuit breaker, call us at 305-852-2431 or 800-858-8845.
If the outage is causing a life-threatening situation, such as a downed power line, dial 911.
What Causes Most Outages?
Trees growing under or near power lines are the most common cause of power outages. To ensure reliable and safe power FKEC implements a comprehensive vegetation management program.
To help prevent outages caused by trees, FKEC trims vegetation around approximately 200 miles of power lines a year on a three-year cycle. The Co-op is required by law to maintain certain clearances and varies the amount of pruning by tree and location within the requirements. FKEC’s specially trained Tree Crews also use natural tree trimming techniques and arborist cuts to maintain the trees health and encourage growth away from lines.
How You Can Help
You can help minimize potential power outages by notifying FKEC of any trees or branches that pose a threat to electric lines near your home or business. If you see trees that could damage lines in high winds, please call 305-852-2431 or 800-858-8845 to schedule a tree trimming appointment or submit tree trimming request online.
Remember, NEVER attempt to trim or prune any vegetation near power lines. If you see a tree causing sparking or hazardous conditions call FKEC or, in an emergency, call 911.
Before you plant vegetation under or around power lines or equipment consult FKEC’s FREE Proper Planting Guide. Guides are available at an FKEC office or online.
Track Power Outages
FKEC members can access the Co-op’s Live Power Outage Viewer via a computer or mobile device by
visiting www.FKEC.com. The live tracking site allows you to see the location and status of any outages in our service territory.
The website indicates the number of people affected, and also notes if an outage is predicted or verified and when crews were dispatched.
FKEC offers “Outage Texting” to communicate outage information to and from affected members.
General Outage Tips
- While power is out, turn off large appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and stoves to prevent heavy startup loads when power is restored.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food from spoiling.
- STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES and broken utility poles! If you see power lines sparking or a hazardous condition call FKEC immediately at 305-852-2431 or in an emergency dial 911.
Are Your Phone Numbers Current?
Before an outage occurs, verify FKEC has all of your current phone numbers, including cell phone numbers. Doing so expedites outage reporting, response and restoration.
You can update your contact information using the online Update Account Contact Information form.
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Green Initiatives
FKEC Solar Loan Program
To help you, Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Members, have financial access to solar power generation, FKEC offers a Solar Loan program. Experience a streamlined application process, along with the convenience of having your loan payment payable with your monthly electric bill.
Approved members may receive a loan, less any available qualified rebates, up to $35,000 for the purchase and installation of a grid-tied Distributed Energy Resource (DER) system. This includes distributed renewable solar photovoltaic systems and grid-tied battery storage systems – All of which must be installed by a qualified solar installer.
The program is offered to both our residential and commercial members, and repayment of the competitively priced loan is 10 years or less with no penalty if paid off early.
Qualifying for the FKEC Solar Loan is based solely on the applicants credit history with FKEC. Residential consumers must have a minimum of a 12-month “clean” billing history with FKEC, and commercial members must have a minimum of 24-months.
FKEC offers net metering to make it easy for solar homes and businesses to draw power from the local power grid while also producing solar energy. The program also allows FKEC to incorporate more solar power into its system by buying back the surplus generated by the solar homes.
Net Meter members receive exactly the cost of each per-kilowatt-hour charge listed on their net meter billing statements as a credit for all excess power generated by their PV systems.
Homeowners considering the installation of home solar arrays should first take all possible measures to make their homes as energy efficient as possible. Successful solar homeowners who are able to generate enough electricity to meet their needs (or achieve a surplus) are the ones that have first invested in reducing their overall energy consumption.
FKEC Solar Power
FKEC installed the first grid-connected solar array in the Florida Keys at our Marathon facility in 2008. The co-op also operates a second smaller array at our Crawl Key substation.
The Marathon array consists of 552 separate 175-watt solar modules tied directly into FKEC’s electric grid. The Crawl Key array adds an additional 120 panels. The expected output of both arrays prior to installation was estimated at 127,000-kilowatt hours per year, or enough to power about 14 average homes.
- Biodiesel Fleet. FKEC was the first fleet operator in the Florida Keys to switch to biodiesel fuel. FKEC also uses synthetic oil in all vehicles.
- Green Facilities. FKEC uses Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines wherever possible when building new facilities.
- Tree Health. When maintaining line clearance, FKEC uses pruning techniques and arborist cuts to protect a tree’s health and encourage growth away from lines.
- Energy-Saving Tree Giveaway. FKEC partners with the Arbor Day Foundation to hold a native tree event.
- Seeds for Students Program. Each year the co-op celebrates Florida Arbor Day with local fourth grade students.
FKEC’s Storm Plan
FKEC staff and crews work year-round to maintain a strong electric system and to plan for quick, effective restoration if a storm should strike our area. To do this the Co-op implements a comprehensive storm plan focused on readiness, restoration and recovery.
Post Storm Restoration Time
Restoration time depends on how many islands are affected and on the condition of the transmission system serving us from the mainland. Even if our local system is relatively undamaged, our service from FPL may be interrupted. If so, full power cannot be restored until the mainland connection is repaired. Damage assessment in our area will commence as soon as weather conditions allow.
Virtually every employee is mobilized after a storm to assist in storm restoration. Additionally, we have “Mutual Aid Agreements” with a long list of other utilities, cooperatives and contractors, such as line and tree crews, to assist us after a storm. If damage exceeds our in-house ability to restore service in a reasonable time, we will request outside crews.
The Tavernier Operations Center is also equipped to house and feed FKEC’s employees as well as outside crews if necessary.
Order of Restoration
Work is organized to restore power to the greatest number of members in the least amount of time. FKEC also prioritizes restoring power to life and safety situations and essential community services. Following this, crews work to restore power to individual members with isolated issues.
In-Home Life Support
People dependent on electric-powered life sustaining medical equipment are responsible for their own emergency plan for backup power or should plan to relocate when a storm warning is issued.
Online Storm Resources
- Visit FKEC’s storm center for safety tips for before, during and after a storm.
- Use our LIVE power outage viewer to track outages and estimated restoration time within FKEC’s service territory.
- Review FKEC’s storm restoration plan to understand how repairs will be made after a storm strikes.
- Make a tree trim request. Trees growing under or near power lines are the most common cause of power outages, if you see vegetation posing a potential threat to power lines, you can submit an online tree trim request.
- FKEC “GenSafe” program allows members to easily and safely connect portable generators to their homes.
- Meter mounted surge protection is available for our members to purchase and offers a level of protection.
We’re Ready for the First 72, Are You?
At FKEC, when we prepare for hurricane season, we prepare to operate without power for the first 72 hours following a major storm – and we encourage you, our members, to do the same.
In the event of a major storm there is always the potential for a widespread outage or disruption to power from the mainland. In the event of such an outage, FKEC is prepared to operate in stand-alone mode for at least 72 hours. We have adequate generation, fuel, water, food and food preparation facilities to allow us to work for three days without outside assistance. When making your post-storm plan you should “stock-up” for three days as well.
FKEC Products, Services and Resources
FKEC is committed to providing programs, services and resources that address member needs and maintain progressive customer service. This section contains only a few of the services the company offers. To learn more contact a Member Service Representative at 305-852-2431 or visit the Contact Us page.
FKEC’s Meter Mounted Surge Protection provides a level of defense for your entire home’s or business’ electric system.
For safe and easy connection, FKEC’s “GenSafe” Program allows members to purchase a device that includes an outlet for a portable generator. www.fkec.com/services/
Outdoor Lighting Service
For year-round outdoor lighting of yards, driveways, walkways, roads and other areas, FKEC offers dark-sky compliant LEDs to members for a monthly rental charge based on the kWh used.
Live Power Outage Viewer
Track the location and restoration status of a power outage in our service territory via a computer or mobile device. www.fkec.com
FKEC performs informative electrical presentations and safety demonstrations for students and organizations in our community. To learn more call 305-852-2431.www.fkec.com/resources/
FKEC net metering makes it easy for solar homes and businesses to draw power from the local power grid while also producing solar energy. The program also allows FKEC to incorporate more solar power into its system by buying back the surplus generated by the solar homes.
To help members have financial access to solar power generation, FKEC offers a Solar Loan program. Experience a streamlined application process, along with the convenience of having your loan payment payable with your monthly electric bill. www.fkec.com/green-power/
Members can obtain rebates (up to $500 maximum per member per calendar year) for completing qualifying, energy efficient upgrades and improvements at their homes. www.fkec.com/services/
Special Needs Registry
FKEC members should be aware of the Monroe County Special Needs Registry designed to assist county residents who need transportation or sheltering help due to a declared emergency. Learn more at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/148/Special-Needs-Registry or call (305) 292-4591. Note, this service is offered through Monroe County Emergency Management and is independent of FKEC.
FKEC’s online media center allows open access to past and present news releases, FKEC’s monthly newsletter Florida Currents, and includes board meeting dates and times, agendas, and minutes.
Free Planting Guide
FKEC’s Proper Planting Guide provides tips on how to plant near power lines and info about native vegetation.