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Important Information to Know

Theft of Services | Project Help | Tree Trimming | What to Do During a Power Outage |
Safety Precautions | Energy Saving Tips | Your Utility Department Also Offers


Theft of Services

It is against state law to tamper with a utility meter. People who steal utilities are actually stealing from all the consumers on the system. We ask to help us find those who may be involved in stealing electricity, natural gas, water or wastewater services.

If you know of such activity, please call us immediately at  256-764-4456 during normal business hours or after hours. Please remember that tampering with a utility meter is not only unlawful but also very dangerous.


Project Help

You can make a monthly contribution to provide warmth and light for the elderly, disabled, or those on a low fixed income or with no income at all. Project Help allows utility customers to contribute $1 or more each month as a part of their utility billing. Florence Utilities serves as an unpaid collection agent for this fund, and Cooperative Community Ministries, Inc., administers the fund and determines eligibility. You may contribute to Project Help by calling us at 256-760-6512.

If you need help and think you might qualify for Project Help assistance, please visit the Help Center office at 621 South Court Street, or call 256-766-7663. The Help Center is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Tree Trimming

In our area, trees are the major cause of electrical outages. Because of this, we have an ongoing tree trimming program. Our crews constantly work to maintain the proper clearance between trees and lines to reduce outages. Please help us in this effort by avoiding the planting of trees under or near electric lines.

For more information about tree trimming, please refer to the tree trimming section of our web site.


What to Do During a Power Outage

1. Stay away from downed power lines and broken utility poles! Please note the location and call us immediately. Even lines that look harmless can be dangerous!

2. If your power is out, check with your neighbors. If they still have electricity, check your fuses or circuit breakers. If that does not solve the problem, call us at 256-764-4456.

3. Once you have called us, there is no need to continue to call. Your request will be handled as quickly as possible. The only reason you will need to call us again will be if your neighbor's power has been restored and your power is still out.

4. As we restore power, overloaded lines can often cause additional outages. You can help prevent this by switching off your heating and cooling equipment and other appliances during the outage. Leave a light on so you will know when service has been restored.

5. Do not keep checking the refrigerator and freezer. Food will keep much longer if the doors are left closed.

6. Prepare a "lights-out" kit. Keep a flashlight, spare fuses and a battery-powered radio handy. Know where the electric service panel for your home is located, and how to reset circuit breakers or replace blown fuses. Make sure your family knows where the kit is located and what to do if you are not at home.


Safety Precautions

Electricity

Keep long metal tools, antennas, ladders and kites away from electric lines. Before climbing a tree, check for power lines. Never climb a tree if power lines are near or run through the tree.

If you have babies or young children in the house, use snap-in covers in the outlets when they are not in use. Never touch or use electrical equipment around water. Avoid overloading a receptacle or electrical circuit. If you have any questions about safety, call Florence Utilities first!

Natural Gas

Have your gas appliances installed, serviced and repaired by professionals. Keep chimney flues and vents for appliances clean and in good repair. Keep areas around your gas water heater and furnace clean.

Teach family members what to do if they smell gas. If you smell natural gas indoors, BE CAREFUL. Put out any cigarettes, pipes, candles or anything with a flame. If you can't locate the source of the odor, or if the odor is strong and seems to be everywhere, get everyone out of the house immediately. Do not touch any light switches or make any phone calls. Call the Florence Gas Department from a neighbor's house.

If you smell natural gas odor outside, even if you do not have gas service, leave the area and call the Florence Gas Department.

Water

Each home should have a water cutoff valve. Be sure you and all of the members of your family know where the cutoff valve is located, in case of broken water lines or plumbing problems.


Energy Saving Tips

There are things you can do to cut your energy use and help control your living costs by making your home more energy efficient.

1. When buying new appliances, compare the Energy Guide labels to determine the annual energy cost ranges. Over time, energy saving machines can be more economical purchases.

2. Use the microwave whenever possible. It's the most energy efficient way to cook or heat small amounts of food.

3. Clean out the lint filter on the clothes dryer after each load. Check the dryer exhaust ducts for leaks or plugging and make sure they are vented outside in the summer. Do not over-dry; not only does it harm clothes, it wastes energy.

4. Your refrigerator uses more energy than any other kitchen appliance. Limit opening refrigerator and freezer doors. Keep the refrigerator between 36 and 38 degrees and the freezer between zero and five degrees.

5. Heating and cooling your home is the most costly use of energy. Raising the heating thermostat or lowering the cooling thermostat by one degree increases utility costs by about 2%.

6. Remember to keep your heating and cooling filters clean. Filters should be replaced every month, unless you have permanent type filters.

7. Your furnace or central heating unit should be checked at least once a year before the heating season.

8. Make sure all natural gas flames burn blue. A yellow flame indicates inefficient burning and can be dangerous.

9. If your water heater does not contain insulating materials, proper insulation can make it highly efficient, especially if it is located in an unheated area of the home.

10. Wash full loads of dishes and clothes.

11. Let dishes air dry.

12. Turn off lights and appliances when not needed.

13. Check your house for water leaks. Toilet leaks can be tested by adding food coloring to the water in the tank. Check after a few minutes to see if the colored water has entered the bowl.

14. Install a reduced-flow shower head.

15. A partially-filled tub uses less water than a long shower. A shorter shower uses less water than a full tub.

16. Do not leave water running while washing your car, brushing your teeth, or washing dishes.


Your Utility Department Also Offers:

Energy Program
Through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Florence Utilities offers a variety of energy saving options to its customers.  Visit the
TVA website and you will find ways to manage your energy usage for efficiency and savings with energy services for your home or business.  You can also learn more about energy saving options by calling 256-740-6055.

Security lights
Florence Utilities will install and maintain a residential security light on your property for a monthly charge. For more information, call Customer Service at 256-760-6512.

Gas lights
Gas lights may be purchased from the Florence Gas Department. For information, call 256-767-3430.

Gas grills
Gas grills may be purchased from the Florence Gas Department. For information, call 256-767-3430.

24-hour dispatching
Florence Utilities provides 24-hour dispatching service for after-hour emergencies and power outages.

Lightning arrester
Florence Utilities sells and installs lightning arresters for residential services. For further information, call 256-760-6530.

Call Before You Dig - It's The Law
If you are excavating in Alabama, call 1-800-292-8525. We will be contacted to mark the location of our buried lines, to prevent any possibility of problems.

Copyright 2008  |  City of Florence, AL; U.S.A.

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