50 homes in Cocoa get energy makeover
Florida Power & Light’s Home Makeover Energy Blitz improves energy efficiency of homes
By Jenet Krol,Staff writer
COCOA – Florescent light bulbs, clean air filters and properly insulated pipes are some simple solutions to increase energy efficiency in a home.
Twelve teams made up of volunteers from Florida Power & Light and Cocoa city staff members visited 50 homes in Cocoa to teach residents about ways to conserve energy and to provide them with some energy-efficient products as part of the company’s Home Makeover Initiative.
The Cocoa Housing Department identified residents within the city, including seniors and first-time home buyers, who needed help with conserving on their energy bills, said Monica Russo, public relations liaison for the city.
"We have a real cross-section of single parents, seniors and young couples," said Ms. Russo.
Mona Thomas-Lewis, who has lived at her home on Churchill Street for the past eight years, said she is looking forward to a lower energy bill after FPL made improvements to her home.
"Last year my energy bill ran really high," she said. "Folks on a fixed income worry about running their (air conditioners). After I lot my job, I wasn’t sure I could afford it."
FPL replaced 12 light bulbs within the house with compact florescent light bulbs, replaced a clogged air filter and installed aerators on the sinks to control water-flow and the amount of hot water used, said Tony Swann, energy management consultant with FPL.
The team also provided a new low-flow showerhead and insulation for the hot water heater pipes.
These simple improvements will save the homeowner close to 20 percent on their energy bills.
Homes also received on-call transponders, which, during times of high demand, allow FPL to cycle off power to air conditioner units and hot water heaters.
In turn, residents receive a credit back to their power bills, said Mr. Swann.
Since the program’s start in 2006, FPL has improved more than 300 homes across the state. Cocoa was the first city in Brevard County to participate in the program.
"It benefits the whole community," said Shannon Bennett, media specialist for FPL. "With low-cost retro fits to older homes we can help make a home as energy as efficient as it can be. And, as people learn more about energy efficiency it inspires them to keep doing it and to tell others to do it."
Home energy-saving tips from FPL
. Cool your home at 78 degrees or warmer. Raise the thermostat to 82 degrees or warmer when you are away.
. Clean or replace you air conditioning filter monthly
. Turn off ceiling fans when leaving a room. A constantly running fan can cost up to $7 a month in energy bills
. Install low-flow showerheads to reduce hot water used during showers.
. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. It can save up to $70 a year
. Limit the time you run your pool pump to six hours a day during the summer
. Adjust water level on washing machines to match load size. Always use a cold rinse
. Clean the lint filter on dryers before every load to dry clothes faster
. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs
. Unplug electronic devices when not in use
. Cover electrical outlets that are not in use with child-safety covers
. Close window treatments on the southern and western facing windows of a home during the time of day when sun shines in those rooms