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Watt's Happening

Welcome to the neighborhood — savings tips for new Floridians

With its sunny weather, beautiful beaches and wide variety of arts and culture offerings, it should be no surprise that nearly 1,000 families are moving to Florida each day. To you new Floridians, welcome to the neighborhood! I’m Andre, a residential expert with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and a member of FPL’s Watt’s Team. In this blog, I’ll be sharing a few tips to help you keep energy costs low so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your new home. Native Floridian? Don’t worry — these tips can help you, too.

Keep cool without working your A/C too hard

While your first reaction to the Florida weather may be to crank the A/C down low, remember that each degree you raise it can save you up to 5% on your energy bill. Here are a few other ways to stay cool that won’t break the bank.

  • Keep sun out by closing blinds and curtains during the day; more than 75% of sunlight landing on your windows enters the home as heat.
  • Consider grilling outside rather than using the oven or stove to keep your kitchen from overheating.
  • Use fans, but only leave them running when someone is in the room.

Does your new home have a not-so-new air conditioning unit? If the current system is more than 10 years old, it’s time to consider a replacement. Luckily, FPL offers a $150 instant rebate on a new A/C when you purchase through a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC). A new system will keep your home cooler without working as hard, helping you save money on your energy bill year after year.

Swimming in savings

One of the perks of living in Florida is year-round pool weather. That being said, you do not want run your new home’s pool pump 24/7/365. By maintaining your pool’s cleanliness and proper chemical levels, you can reduce your pool pump’s run time. FPL recommends you limit run time to six hours each day in the summer and four in the winter. By reducing the pump’s run time two hours or more per day, you can save up to $100 on annual energy costs.

Don’t air condition the outdoors

While basements are not common in Florida, attics are found in homes across the state. Without proper insulation, the hard work of your A/C or heater may be going to waste, turning your attic into a major cost center. EPA estimates homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by properly insulating.

If your home was built before 1982, you may qualify for an insulation rebate from FPL worth up to $190. Similar to the A/C program, simply work with a PIC to determine eligibility and you’re on your way to a more energy-efficient home.

Join the On Call program

Looking for more ways to save? Consider joining the On Call program. This gives FPL the option to temporarily switch off your air conditioning and/or heating, along with optional appliances you choose, and could save you more than $90 a year — even if FPL never needs to turn them off at all.

If you join this program, FPL will install a small energy-management device on the equipment and appliances you choose. Then, during times of high energy demand, FPL may switch them off for short periods of time.

Whether new in town or Floridian born and bred, one thing everyone can do to help save on their energy bill is activate FPL’s free Energy Manager. This tool helps you understand and control your energy usage and provides custom tips to help you save even more. For new articles each month with more ways you can save, be sure to check out the Watt’s Happening blog.