Consumer Guide

sunset over the ocean

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.

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association, Inc.
305-852-2431 or 800-858-8845
Pay By Phone 855-385-9912
www.FKEC.com

Office hours: M-F 8AM-5PM
Emergency Operator available 24/7

Tavernier Office:
91630 Overseas Highway
Tavernier, FL 33070

Marathon Office
3421 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050

FKEC proudly serves members from the Monroe-Dade County line to the Seven Mile Bridge.

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The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Difference

Capital Credits

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.

Democratic Control

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 Bylaws

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®.

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.

Florida Currents magazine coverTo keep you informed FKEC provides timely information in our monthly newsletter included in Florida Currents magazine. In it we strive to share company news and, maybe more importantly, to provide tips and information to help you use electricity more responsibly.

The Florida Currents is mailed to every FKEC account holder each month. Past and present newsletters are archived online.

FKEC also reaches out to members via www.FKEC.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Billing and Payment Options

Visa and MasterCard logosAmerican Express logoecheck

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 Online With SmartHub

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 “Pay Now” Bill Pay

Pay Online With SmartHub

All you need is an account number and the last name of the primary member or business name as it appears on your billing statement to pay with your checking account or credit card.

Online Bill Pay & Account Management

Pay Online With SmartHub

Register to pay your bill, access account history and usage, set-up auto pay and paperless billing, and update contact information.

SmartHub Mobile App

Download The SmartHub Mobile App

Pay your bill from your mobile device by downloading the app.

Automatic, Recurring Bill Pay

Complete a Bank Draft Authorization Form and return the completed form to our office, along with a voided check OR Setup Recurring Credit Card or Bank Draft Payments online.

By U.S. Mail

FKEC, P.O. Box 377, Tavernier, FL 33070

In Person, open 8am-5pm, M-F

TAVERNIER OFFICE
91630 Overseas Hwy., Tavernier, FL 33070

MARATHON OFFICE
3421 Overseas Hwy., Marathon, FL 33050

Drive-through and night drop available at both.

Understanding Your FKEC Residential Electric Bill

sample FKEC bill with numerical annotations

Comparing your electric bill to a friend’s or neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges – families do not have the same habits, appliances or billing cycles. To track your usage more 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.

  1. Bill Mailed is the date from which you have 20 days to pay your bill. Bills paid 20 days after the ‘Bill Mailed’ date are considered delinquent and subject to late fees and disconnection.
  2. Phone Number(s)
  3. Daily System Access Charge is a “service availability charge” to cover costs involved in having power available to each active meter.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Outdoor Lighting Charge is the cost if you ordered an outdoor light.
  8. Outdoor Lighting Sales Tax is Florida state sales tax for outdoor light rental.
  9. Gross Receipt Tax is a 2.563% tax assessed to every bill from the state of Florida.
  10. Operation Round-Up® is a voluntary program that “rounds up” your electric bill up to the next whole dollar, and gives 100% of all funds raised to those in need.
  11. Total Due/Delinquent Date: Members not enrolled in our automatic payment program will see a delinquent date printed under the total due.

Track your account usage and history online.

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.

electrical meter

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 member.service@fkec.com. Reports are confidential.

Maintenance Responsibilities

Detailed illustration. What's yours / what's ours. Yours: Weatherhead, Drip Loop, Service Bracket, Service Riser (Conduit), Meter Can (Meter Socket). Ours: Service Wire, Connection Point, Meter. Other: Telephone, Internet, or Cable Wires.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

color coded map keyFKEC 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.

Outage Texting

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?

iPhone calling FKECBefore 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

Solar Power

In 2008, FKEC installed its Marathon solar array, the first grid-connected solar array in the Florida Keys. The array went online later that year, and continues to perform above initial expectations, as does the Cooperative’s second smaller array on Crawl Key.

You can view the performance of the Marathon solar array including current daily, monthly and cumulative energy production as well as environmental impact online.

Solar Interconnectivity

FKEC offers an interconnectivity program allowing any local “solar home” that generates its own power to also safely draw power from FKEC’s electric grid as needed. If one of these homes produces a surplus of electricity, it is FKEC’s policy to buy back the surplus power at current energy rates.

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.

Environmentally Friendly Fleet

In 2007, FKEC converted its entire fleet of bucket trucks and other diesel-powered vehicles to biodiesel, a clean burning alternative fuel. The Co-op was the first fleet operator in the Florida Keys to switch to biodiesel fuel.

FKEC also uses synthetic oil in all cooperative vehicles. The switch to synthetic motor oil in 2007 has enhanced the performance of the fleet and also drastically decreased the company’s carbon footprint.

Green Operations Center

In March 2009, FKEC opened the doors of its storm hardened Tavernier Operations Center. The facility was designed to improve FKEC’s service to its approximately 33,000 accounts by combining features for category 5 hurricane preparedness and survivability, operational efficiency and safety, and energy efficiency and conservation.

FKEC used LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines wherever possible when constructing
the 62,000-square-foot facility. These features are not only for energy efficiency but include recycled building materials and water conservation. The Tavernier Operations Center is also certified as a “Green Business” by the Green Living and Energy Education organization (GLEE).

Green Outreach

FKEC encourages members to decrease their energy consumption to benefit the environment and yield a return on their electric bill. To assist with this the Cooperative offers various programs including temporary residential rebates, and resources such as a free energy guide, and by sharing informative material online and in the monthly newsletter.

Learn about these initiatives and more on the Green Initiatives page.

Solar Array Production

solar array

The Marathon array (pictured above) is located next to the Marathon office building and 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. FKEC is happy to report the Marathon array alone continues to exceed that expectation by approximately 8,000 kilowatts a year.

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.

Outside Assistance

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.

Available Products

We’re Ready for the First 72, Are You?

two utility workers climbing a power pole as dark clouds roll over

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.

Surge Protection

electrical meterFKEC’s Meter Mounted Surge Protection provides a level of defense for your entire home’s or business’ electric system.

Safety Outreach

FKEC performs informative electrical presentations and safety demonstrations for students and organizations in our community. If you are interested in learning more about FKEC’s educational outreach, contact Member Service at 305-852-2431.

Online Media Center

FKEC’s online media center allows open access to past and present press releases, FKEC’s monthly newsletter Florida Currents, and includes board meeting dates and times, agendas, and minutes.

Outdoor Lighting

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.

Net Metering (Solar Interconnectivity)

FKEC offers Solar PV Interconnectivity to allow members with their own solar array(s) to generate power while remaining connected to the power grid.

“GenSafe” Program

portable electrical generatorFor safe and easy connection, FKEC’s “GenSafe” Program allows members to purchase a device that includes an outlet for a portable generator.

Free FKEC Energy Guide

FKEC’s Guide to Home Energy Savings (PDF) is a must have! It is available at an FKEC office or can be downloaded online.

Free Planting Guide

FKEC’s Proper Planting Guide provides tips on how to plant near power lines and info about native vegetation.

Live Power Outage Viewer

Track the location and restoration status of a power outage in our service territory via a computer or mobile device by visiting Live Outage Viewer.