At FKEC, we work continuously to introduce energy efficient and environmentally friendly programs and practices into our workplace, as well as to offer our members tools and services to help them reach their green goals.
All of our bucket trucks run on biodiesel fuel, and we also use long-lasting synthetic oil to lessen our emissions. Our fleet includes a plug-in hybrid utility vehicle and a hybrid-electric substation bucket truck with the ability to power equipment on the truck without the need to idle. We also recycle materials like tires, wire and more.
In 2007, FKEC was the first fleet operator in the Florida Keys to switch to biodiesel fuel.
With all construction, FKEC considers sustainable materials and takes energy-saving measure.
For example, in the construction of our 62,000-square-foot facility Tavernier Operations Center, FKEC followed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards where possible. The building includes a 30,000-gallon cistern that captures not only rain water, but also the condensation from our cooling system’s high efficiency chillers. The collected water is then used to water landscaping and wash co-op vehicles. Reusable or recycled materials were also used in the building’s construction and solar panels provide our hot water. In addition, the red louver “eyebrow” you see on the outside of the building actually reduces heat transfer by keeping direct sunlight out, while still letting natural light in.
We also use timers to manage our lights and cooling systems in all our facilities and our bathrooms are equipped with water-saving, two-flush toilets.
In 2008, FKEC installed the first grid-connected solar array in the Florida Keys. The Marathon array consists of 552 separate 175-watt solar modules.
Currently, FKEC also operates a smaller array with a maximum capacity of 21 kilowatts inside the Crawl Key Substation.
Environmentally Friendly Practices
FKEC implements a variety of measures to protect and preserve our environment. When maintaining line clearance, FKEC tree crews follow arborist standards and use natural tree trimming techniques to maintain the tree’s health and train branches to grow away from power lines. FKEC is nationally recognized as a “Tree Line USA Utility” from the Arbor Day Foundation.
When trimming vegetation along 905, a protected area and home to the endangered Florida Tree Snail, FKEC spots and relocates any tree snails found along the right-of-way. FKEC is also sensitive of our underwater habitat. Before any repairs or construction is done to electric equipment in our local waters, the structures are inspected and if necessary, any mature coral found is relocated by the Coral Restoration Foundation.
We also work with local authorities to turn off coastal lights during turtle nesting season, or in some areas install turtle friendly lights.
Green Services and Programs
In addition to working to lessen our impact on the environment, it is also a priority to provide you, our members, with green services and programs.
To encourage and help co-op members decrease their energy consumption, we offer an annual residential rebate program and energy-saving native tree giveaway. Our Solar Loan and Solar Net Metering services are other ways we try to make “going green” easier for co-op members interested in harnessing the power of the sun.