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Ask the Expert: How do I keep my energy bill low while I stay at home?

As people around the world confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become our collective responsibility to stay in our homes and stop the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing. FPL is doing its part to support everyone in that effort, as we recently announced plans to issue a one-time bill credit of nearly 25% for the typical residential beginning in May. Of course, a sharp increase in time at home means more energy usage, so we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you save even more.

Cool Efficiency

Spring is here, and temperatures are on the rise as we hunker down in our homes—this is Florida after all! Now, it’s more important than ever to practice efficient air conditioning (A/C) use to keep those electric bills down. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to save money.

Did you know that each degree you raise the thermostat can help you save up to five percent on your monthly cooling costs? Turning the temperature up a couple clicks saves significant dollars, and you can still feel just as comfortable by utilizing fans to cool down. Just make sure to turn them off when you walk away—keeping fans off when a room is unoccupied can save as much as $7 per month on your bill.

Other easy A/C tips you can implement right now include:

  • Avoid closing bedroom doors and other doors as much as possible. Closed doors can impede the airflow of your A/C system.
  • Close shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun’s heat out and the A/C working less.

Cooking Up Savings

In the kitchen, bigger is not always better when it comes to being energy efficient. When preparing meals while you’re at home, use the smallest appliance you need to get the job done. It can take three times as much energy to power up a full-sized oven, so consider using appliances like a slow-cooker, microwave or toaster oven if possible.

For real energy savings, you can even step outside and fire up the grill! Using an outdoor grill instead of the oven not only uses far less energy, it also won’t raise the temperature of the kitchen and make your A/C work harder. When it’s time to clean the dishes, make sure to only run the dishwasher when it is completely full to minimize the number of cycles and save energy. You can also bypass the “dry” setting to save even more money.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

It’s a stressful time, and entertaining diversions are essential to maintaining our mental health as we wait for a return to normalcy. It’s inevitable that your TVs, gaming consoles, routers, cable boxes and other entertainment products are getting more use than usual. Plus, increased usage of laptops and computers, especially for those with children getting homeschooled, is probably on your mind. The good news is there’s no need to worry about that—we estimate that will only raise your bill by as little as $8 per month, a cost that can be easily offset by following our other tips.

Through it all, remember that our FPL Energy Manager is a free and useful tool to monitor and manage your energy use. It provides an itemized breakdown of your usage and offers simple energy saving tips to different kinds of energy users. It’s just one of many ways that FPL keeps your electric bill amongst the lowest in the nation.

We hope you stay healthy and use these easy-to-follow tips to save energy when the entire family is at home.

Supporting Business Customers

Whether you’re working from home right now or managing an essential business, helping our business customers make smart decisions on how to manage energy usage, identify bill savings options and leverage our free analytic tools is more important than ever. We recently created a video to showcase new information about federal funding resources as well as tips for appliances, refrigeration, lighting and so much more.

We also know every business’s needs are unique. That is why we recommend you try our free Business Energy Manager to find ways to help you track your usage and save on your bill. You can also get our step-by-step guide to identifying saving opportunities when you download our energy checklist.

We hope you stay safe and healthy and use these easy-to-follow tips to help conserve energy, trim costs and gain control over your energy usage today.