Americans consume the most energy per person in the world, according to U.S. government statistics, and our homes account for 21 percent of America’s energy consumption.
To help lower home energy use, Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) urges residents to perform a do-it-yourself home energy audit. October is Energy Awareness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the PSC supports its theme, “Working to Secure A Clean Energy Future.”
“Conservation begins at our front door,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “By following a few, simple energy-saving tips, you can make your home more comfortable and easier to heat and cool, while you save money, too.”
Here are some tips on how to perform your own home energy audit:
Inspect cooling and heating equipment – 56 percent of your electric bill is from cooling and heating your home. Make sure the systems’ filters are clean and look for dirt streaks in the ductwork that can indicate a leak. Consider installing a programmable thermostat, to get the most efficiency from your system, and if your system is old, invest in a new, energy efficient system.
Locate air leaks – Inspect doors and windows and any openings in your home that connect to outdoor or unheated and uncooled spaces. Fill leaks with caulking or weatherstripping.
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 compact fluorescent bulbs 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 Florida Public Service Commission Web site, www.floridapsc.com. Look for Consumers Corner on the right hand side of the home page or select Publications/Consumer Brochures in the blue bar on the top of the home page. You can also order brochures, such as “Reducing Electric Costs” and “Conserve Your World,” by calling the PSC’s consumer line at 800-342-3552.
Consumer tips from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Web site can be found at http://www.eere.energy.gov/.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their 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 additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.