According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States consumes 18% of the world’s energy. October is National Energy Awareness Month, and the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is encouraging Florida consumers to lower their energy usage.
“Energy conservation begins at home,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “The energy savings impact from even small habit changes, such as turning off lights and ceiling fans, is surprising. Having a do-it-yourself home energy audit will show you problems that, when corrected, can really have an impact on reducing heating and cooling costs.”
Call your local utility for how-to information, or use some of our tips to get started.
Inspect cooling and heating equipment – Heating and cooling is the largest energy expense for most homes, accounting for about 48 percent of energy use. Make sure the systems’ filters are clean. Install a programmable thermostat to maximize efficiency, and if your system is old, consider investing in a new, more efficient system.
Locate air leaks – Inspect doors and windows and any openings that connect to outdoor or unheated and uncooled spaces. Fill leaks with caulking or weather-stripping.
Check insulation – Upgrade insulation if you live in an older home. The attic, walls, and floor may need new insulation to meet current standards.
Consider lighting needs – Install lower wattage lights and use LEDs where possible.
Examine appliance age – Consider replacing older appliances, since newer appliances are much more efficient.
More tips on cutting energy consumption can be found on the PSC website, www.floridapsc.com. Look for Publications at the top of the home page, and then click on Brochures. Consumer tips from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website can be found at here.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.