LCEC Brings Spanish Version of Interactive Energy Calculator Online
December 11, 2007
When Lee County posted a 17 percent increase in its Hispanic population last year (July 2005 to July 2006), it confirmed LCEC's frontline experience...
(ATLANTA) When Lee County posted a 17 percent increase in its Hispanic population last year (July 2005 to July 2006), it confirmed LCEC's frontline experience: more and more of its electric customers wanted home energy surveys and company literature in Spanish.
LCEC, which serves a five-county area in southwest Florida, estimates the Hispanic population in its area to be about 15 percent - the same as for the nation as a whole. Not surprisingly, Florida ranks third in largest Hispanic population, right behind California and Texas.
LCEC soon embarked on a systematic conversion of its printed literature into Spanish. The company also selected its most popular online tool -- the Calc-U-Saver - to be its first Spanish website offering. The customized LCEC home energy calculator, developed by APOGEE Interactive, Inc. specifically for LCEC's area weather, energy prices, and pool/spa saturation, came online in 2004. This year, LCEC worked together with APOGEE and Transperfect to produce the Spanish version.
"Consistently high use of the Calc-U-Saver pushed it to the top for online translation," said Melissa Miller, marketing analyst for LCEC. The Calc-U-Saver lets customers analyze various scenarios to achieve energy and cost savings in their homes -- everything from changes in insulation and windows to adjustments in heating and cooling system thermostats.
The Web-based calculator supplements LCEC long-standing energy advisor program for customers, where energy auditors make house calls to conduct an energy audit and discuss ways to save on electric bills. "The Web greatly expands our energy educational reach well beyond our office hours and beyond those we can see face to face or talk with over the phone," said Miller.
LCEC is the first of APOGEE's more than 400 utility clients to translate the residential calculator into Spanish. LCEC was also the first APOGEE client to request and include pools and spa systems in their version of the home energy calculator. "This segment of energy use is too prevalent in our area to ignore. Pools and spas can potentially account for $1,000 in annual energy expense," explained Miller. Using a pool cover could cut that cost in half, according to the Calc-U-Saver.
"LCEC continues to be out in front in the development of innovative energy-saving tools for consumers and businesses," said Susan Gilbert, president and chief executive officer of APOGEE, a leading online solutions company serving the energy industry since 1994. "Their commitment to energy stewardship parallels our mission at APOGEE - to advance energy efficiency activity among utility customers," she said.
APOGEE Interactive, Inc. (www.apogee.net) is a leading provider of online solutions for the energy industry. The company serves more than 400 utilities nationwide, including some of the nation's largest investor-owned, municipal and cooperative utilities such as American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), FPL (NYSE: FPL), Jackson EMC, Riverside Public Utilities and Pasadena Water and Power. APOGEE's Web-based content and tools reach millions of electricity consumers daily. The company also provides eLearning systems, call center programs and load management platforms to utilities and their trade associations.
LCEC (www.lcec.net) is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving a five-county area in southwest Florida. Its service area includes Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Pine Island, Everglades City, Immokalee and parts of Lehigh Acres. With more than 196,000 customers, it is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the nation.
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