The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is encouraging residents to make energy efficient resolutions for the new year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical U.S. family spends more than $1,600 a year on home utility bills. Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted.
“By making energy-efficient choices, consumers can reduce energy consumption, cut costs and strengthen energy security for Florida for years to come,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar.
To help you on your way to greater energy efficiency, here are eight simple resolutions for 2007:
• Insulate your home. You can reduce the load on your heating and cooling equipment by as much as 30 percent by investing in insulation.The PSC is committed to making sure Florida's consumers receive some of their most essential electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation, competitive market oversight, and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For more energy conservation tips, visit the Conservation House on the PSC’s web site at www.floridapsc.com
• Draft-proof windows, doors and other air leaks. Move a lit candle around the frames and sashes of your windows. If the flame dances around, you need caulking and/or weather stripping.
• Use blinds or shades for large windows situated in the east or west sides of the house. The addition of awnings also decreases energy consumption.
• Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket. Heating water accounts for about 20 percent of all the energy used in homes.
• Buy energy-efficient appliances. Appliances that meet federal efficiency guidelines have an Energy Star label on the product or packaging.
• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter. Wear a sweater if you want to be warmer. A heavy long-sleeved sweater adds about 3.7 degrees.
• In the summer, set the thermostat at 78 degrees and use fans to circulate the air. Every degree counts – lowering the thermostat to 76 degrees increases energy consumption by 35 percent.
• Clean the condenser coils behind or underneath your refrigerator every six months. Check the doors to make sure all the seals are tight.