JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Fireworks aren't the only things that may go up on Independence Day. Hot and humid temperatures are in the forecast, creating a greater reliance on air conditioning – which can account for more than half of the typical electric bill in Florida. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) offers customers tech-savvy tips to give them freedom to take control of their energy use.
"Summer bills are always higher because we're all using more energy. Not only is your A/C unit combatting the sun's rays, but it's also working hard to cool down your home filled with out-of-town guests and kids moving in and out of your home grabbing drinks and snacks from your refrigerator," said FPL Energy Expert Tiffany Spence. "That's what makes FPL's Online Energy Dashboard so valuable. With just a few clicks, customers can log into their FPL.com account and see how the temperature impacts their bill by the month, day or hour."
All the activity in customers' homes means their air conditioning unit will be working overtime – working up to twice as long in the summer than in cooler months. While FPL's typical 1,000-kWh customer bills are lower than they were a decade ago and among the lowest in the nation, technology is making it easier for customers to make their bills even lower – even as they step outside to fire up the grill.
Using technology to save energy and money this summer
Before firing up the grill this July 4th holiday, customers should keep these tech-savvy tips in mind to help save energy and money.
- Use a smart thermostat: When you're outside with family and friends, control the temperature inside your home from a smart device using a smart thermostat. Total control in the palm of your hand even if you've left home to catch the fireworks!
- Use smart plugs: Flipping burgers on the grill and notice someone left a lamp on? No problem! With a smart plug, you can turn the lamp off with a smart device without skipping a beat on the grill.
- Switch outdoor lights to LEDs: LED lights use 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to ten times longer.
- Install a new, variable speed pool pump: It'll cost you money up front, but variable speed pool pumps can generate big savings and can pay for themselves in as little as eight months. Reducing your existing pool pump's daily run time by at least two hours can save up to $100 annually.
- Track your energy use: FPL's Online Energy Dashboard allows you to track how much energy you're using by the month, day or even down to the hour. Log into your FPL.com account to get started.
- Click and save up to $250: FPL's Online Home Energy Survey can help you create a smart energy savings plan to help make your home more energy efficient.
"Taking advantage of these tech-savvy energy tips can add up and leave extra money in our customers' pockets—money they can spend on their summer vacations and family celebrations. That said, customers should think about energy efficiency throughout the year, not just during the summer. That's why we encourage our customers to manage and track how much energy they use with our Online Energy Dashboard and to take our Online Home Energy Survey to create a personalized savings plan and save up to $250," Spence said.
Visit FPL.com/easytosave to take FPL's Online Home Energy Survey and use the Energy Dashboard to learn how to save up to $250 a year.
No technology, no problem
While technology plays an important role in helping our customers save money by managing their energy costs, here are some simple tips to keep in mind throughout the summer.
- Go outside: Use an outdoor grill instead of the oven to keep the kitchen cool.
- Use smaller appliances: If cooking inside, do it with a toaster oven, microwave or crock pot. These smaller appliances use less energy than the oven and add less heat to the kitchen.
- Consider cold snacks: When it's hot outside, a cold alternative such as sandwiches, vegetables or fruit make for delicious snacks without having to use the oven.
- Grab in bulk: Reduce the amount of cold air escaping from the fridge by opening the door once to get all necessary items.
- Fill it up: Run the dishwasher with a full load and use the air dry option, if available.
- Switch it out: Make sure your A/C unit is running efficiently by cleaning or changing your filter once a month.
- Turn it off: When leaving to watch a parade or fireworks, remember to turn off lights and fans. Fans only keep people cool, not rooms, so without people, it's running for no reason.
- Turn it up: Turn the thermostat up to 82 degrees or more if traveling for the long weekend. And remember, close window blinds and shades to block out the sun's heat.