Helping Students Learn Conservation Strategies for a Lifetime
On April 27, 2017, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) hosted its 2017 Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day (TDSW) activities, using the national TDSW hashtag #COUNTONME. For 24 years, TDSW has “encouraged girls and boys across the country to dream and to think about their family, work, and community lives.” The PSC showed our future workforce that they can #COUNTONME!, something we demonstrate when meeting and talking to Florida’s consumers throughout the state.
Since everyday habits form at an early age, student outreach is important when trying to instill effective safety, energy efficiency, and water conservation practices. Our children also tend to remind us if our habits are wasteful or inefficient. Lessons learned can have a broad impact! TSDW is one way the PSC reaches this young audience.
This year, PSC Executive Director Braulio Baez welcomed participating children to our TDSW activities, offering insight into how consumers count on their parents to keep utility rates affordable. PSC staff then reminded students to “Think Safety First!” at home, at school, and at play, with electric and natural gas safety practices. These lessons were reflected through their drawings that featured safe digging, water/electric use warnings, and proper appliance use, among other safety practices.
When we make presentations to schools, we often ask students how they can conserve water. Taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing their teeth, and watering plants in the morning are some of the more common answers. Xeriscaping, planting a drought tolerant landscape, is one water conservation technique that is rarely, if ever, mentioned. During TSDW, we showed children the PSC’s xeriscaping consumer tip and demonstrated xeriscaping with a hands-on planting activity using lantana, a drought tolerant plant.
TDSW is a reminder that we all need to prepare students to be our next generation of energy, water, and natural gas consumers. Undoubtedly, they will help find new ways to produce energy and extend water supplies in the future. Still, these are difficult lessons to teach. When you can easily turn a faucet and have water or flip a switch and have light, it''s hard for children to understand how water and energy fuels are finite resources.
The PSC produces various brochures and information on the importance of energy and water conservation. As an agency, we regularly do a lot of outreach in the community and with schools, and we encourage the utilities we regulate to do the same. Below are a few of the PSC’s educational resources that we often use with students to help them better understand the importance of energy and water conservation:
Students can be their own energy managers by following important money saving tips found in the PSC’s Conservation House (which is also easily displayed on our website).
The PSC’s Drop-By-Drop brochure is student-friendly and will help educate them, our future ratepayers, how important water conservation is. It presents a variety of indoor and outdoor water-saving tips to help conserve water and trim your family’s water bill. This colorful brochure also tells how to read a water meter and check for leaks.
Our Get Wise and Conserve Florida is a popular publication for children; the 17-page student resource guide is full of tips and games for making the Earth a better place.
The PSC’s Conserve Your World brochure, in English, Spanish, and Creole, gets right to the heart of conservation. It contains a variety of ideas on ways to use energy and water wisely and to make homes more energy-efficient.
The PSC has also worked with some individual schools to produce Turn It On; Turn It Off, a play about energy conservation, produced for National Energy Awareness Month events, and Water Wiser, a play about water conservation, produced for National Drinking Water Week.
Because Florida students live in a state that is susceptible to hurricanes, we also find it helpful to have information on how families can be prepared with a hurricane plan.
The PSC’s “Hurricane House,” in English and Spanish, is an online guide that includes 19 tips to help prepare your family and your home for severe weather. Tips include everything from planning an evacuation route,
to installing carbon monoxide detectors and dealing with downed power lines. The PSC’s website also features a consumer tip that details how to make a hurricane kit, as well as a storm preparation consumer tip.
Now is a good time for you and your children to take advantage of these student-friendly resources!
The students participating in TDSW cheerfully reminded us, “school’s almost out!” Well, “the almost” brings many stresses, including awards programs,
recitals, class parties, and exams! Lives are very busy this last month of the school year, but if you’re needing a summer learning project or want to keep your
kids back-to-school ready, check out the PSC’s website (www.floridapsc.com) and review some of the brochures I’ve mentioned.
Electric Industry Docket No. 20170109 05/05/2017 - Petition for approval of revisions to deposit provisions of tariff sheet Nos. 4.12 and 6.23, by Gulf Power Company.
Gas Industry Docket No. 20170110 05/09/2017 - Joint petition for approval of modifications to customer deposit tariff sheets, by Florida Public Utilities Company, Florida Public Utilities Company - Fort Meade, Florida Public Utilities Company - Indiantown Division, and Florida Division of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation.
Telecommunications Industry Docket No. 20170113 05/15/2017 - Petition for expedited review of NPA-NXX-X code denial by Number Pooling Administrator for Melbourne rate center, by Teleport Communications America, LLC - FL.
Water Industry Docket No. 20170114 05/16/2017 - Application for transfer of facilities and water Certificate No. 165-W in Pasco County from Allen LaFortune and Otis Fonder to A Utility Inc.
April / May Notable FPSC Orders
Electric Industry Order No. PSC-2017-0178-S-EI
♦ Docket No:
05/16/2017 - Order PSC-17-0178-S-EI approving stipulation and settlement agreement contained in Attachment A; approving GPC's tariffs and rate schedules contained in Attachment B; tariffs and rate schedules shall be effective 7/1/17; GPC shall notify its customers of approved changes in rates in their 7/17 billing statements; GPC shall provide a copy of this notification to staff for review and approval prior to mailing; docket shall be closed.
Gas Industry Order No. PSC-2017-0161-PCO-GU
♦ Docket No:
05/08/2017 - Order PSC-17-0161-PCO-GU suspending hearing schedule contained in Order PSC-17-0033-PCO-GU pending Commission's review of and ruling on joint petition and amended and restated gas transportation agreement.
Order No. PSC-2017-0196-TRF-GU
♦ Docket No:
05/19/2017 - Order PSC-17-0196-TRF-GU approving People's amendments to the relocation of gas service facilities tariff; tariff modification shall be effective 5/4/17; if protested, tariff to remain in effect with any charges held subject to refund pending resolution of the protest; if no protest, docket to be closed upon issuance of a CO; protest due 6/9/17.
Telecommunications Industry Order No. PSC-2017-0156-PAA-TL
♦ Docket No:
05/05/2017 - PAA Order PSC-17-0156-PAA-TL directing NeuStar to provide Frontier with additional numbering resources in the Molino (MOLNFLXAPS0) exchange switch as soon as possible; order to become final and effective on issuance of CO; docket to be closed if order becomes final; protest due 5/26/17.
Water and Wastewater Industry Order No. PSC-2017-0167-FOF-WS
♦ Docket No:
05/11/2017 - Order PSC-17-0167-FOF-WS noticing adoption of Rule 25-30.445, FAC, without changes, effective 5/30/17; closes docket.