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NEWS RELEASE


05/25/2012 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Helped Seniors Learn to Conserve Resources and Save Money during Older Americans Month


TALLAHASSEE — Older Floridians, who are living longer, healthier, and richer lives, were honored during May's Older Americans Month, and Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) celebrated by helping seniors learn how to save money on their utility bills. 

“Seniors make up a significant portion of Florida’s population, and we want to help them stretch their dollars to better enjoy a favorite activity or pass time,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé.  “By meeting with seniors one-on-one, we can answer their questions while sharing conservation tips and providing assistance with other community resources.”

As part of its statewide effort for Older Americans Month, this year the PSC partnered with Florida senior centers in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach Gardens, and Miami.  The PSC’s educational sessions showed Florida’s seniors ways to save energy and water and highlighted the Lifeline Assistance (Lifeline) discounted telephone service program.  For eligible seniors, Lifeline provides a $12.75 monthly credit on local telephone bills – an annual savings of $153.  Most telephone companies serving Floridians offer the program, including some cellular companies. 

You may be eligible for Lifeline if you receive benefits under one of these federal programs: Temporary Cash Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Food Stamps, Medicaid, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program, and/or Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs.  You may also qualify if your household income is no greater than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.  

Distributed at each event, PSC conservation brochures Get Wise and Conserve Florida!; Conserve Your World; Drop by Drop: Saving Money on Your Water Bill; Where to Find Help in Florida; Reducing Electric Costs; and A Guide to Utility Assistance in Florida provided seniors with easy, practical tips for saving resources and money.  Below are a few simple conservation tips to get you started:

  • Refrigerate drinking water rather than letting the tap run to get cold.
  • Collect rainwater for watering landscape plants.
  • Landscape with Florida-friendly, drought tolerant plants, trees, and grasses.
  • Turn water off at the spigot to reduce leaks.  Place a shut-off nozzle on the hose to control flow.
  • Group garden plants together based on similar water needs.
  • Take a shorter shower and install a low-flow shower head with a 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) rating.
  • Use less water for baths.  A full tub uses 35-50 gallons.
  • Use the dishwasher with full loads.
  • Wash clothes with full loads and cold water to save water and energy.
  • Set your thermostat at 65-68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer.
  • Schedule a home energy audit by calling your utility’s customer service department.  Some utilities offer this service free of charge.
  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter after each use and clean the exhaust hose periodically.  This allows the air to circulate efficiently and helps eliminate fire hazards.
  • Upgrade traditional light bulbs.  Upgrading 15 light bulbs could save about $50 per year.*
  • Identify home air leaks and seal them with weather stripping.*
  • Turn off lights, fans, and computer and monitor when not in use and plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips that can easily be turned off when the equipment is not in use.*
    *Source:  US Department of Energy – www.energy.gov

For additional information on Lifeline available in English, Spanish, and Creole tips on conservation or free copies of our consumer publications, contact the PSC at 1-800-342-3552. 

For more information on Older Americans Month, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by visiting www.eldercare.gov or calling 1-800-677-1116.  Since 1963, communities and agencies across the state and nation have joined in the annual commemoration a tradition that shows the state’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Florida residents.
 
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.

Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.



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