Contest to Conserve Energy

Contest to Conserve Energy

FPU, Florida Public Utilities, has kicked off an energy conservation contest that will award residential electric customers for reducing energy consumption by implementing energy efficient practices in their homes. “The FPU Energy Conservation Challenge is going to be a fun way for customers to reduce energy consumption and in turn lower their electric bills,” stated Mark Cutshaw, general manager of FPU ’s Northeast Division. “Energy efficiency is something every member of the family can take part in. I hope this contest creates a community that is overall more aware of the importance of energy conservation.”

To enroll in the contest, you must visit your local FPU office located at either 911 South 8th St. in Fernandina Beach, FL or 2825 Pennsylvania Ave., Marianna, FL from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. FPU employees will be available to register customers and offer advice on reducing energy consumption. While supplies last, customers will also receive a free Energy Conservation Challenge Starter Kit. Enroll now through October 31, 2008.

The Energy Conservation Challenge will track customers’ energy usage over a three-month period, officially starting on a customer’s October meter-read date. The total kilowatt hours consumed will then be compared against 2007 data from the same time period. Each customer will be asked to document conservation measures used, and in January FPU will announce the customer that achieved the greatest energy savings. The winner will receive a $500 Lowe’s gift card good toward energy-efficient products and will be featured in FPU’s 2009 conservation advertising campaign.

“This is a great time for customers to become better acquainted with the conservation support FPU provides,” stated FPU Energy Conservation Manager Joe Eysie. “From free home energy surveys to fact sheets with conservation tips, FPU can help customers achieve significant energy savings – I think the Energy Conservation Challenge is going to illustrate the resourcefulness of our customers.”

Ten Steps to Conserving Energy and Controlling Electric Costs

1. Keep the thermostat as high as comfortably possible during the summer months. A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat for 78 degrees. Every degree the thermostat is set above 78 degrees will save approximately five to six percent in energy costs.
2. Fans cost less to use than the air conditioner; rely on them as much as possible.
3. Keep windows shaded from direct sunlight whenever possible. Blinds and curtains will block the sun and keep your house cooler. Awnings or porches are effective ways to reduce heat gain in the summer.
4. Set your water heater to 120 degrees or the “Low” setting to save energy. If your dishwasher does not have a booster heat element, you may need to increase the temperature to 140 degrees for good performance.
5. Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
6. Wash clothes in cold water most of the time. Clean the lint trap before every dryer load to save energy and reduce run times.
7. Replace light bulbs with ENERGY STAR ® compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), which use two-thirds less energy.
8. Fill in holes around doors and windows to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
9. Use the sleep mode on the computer and other electronics when not in use.
10. Use a microwave whenever possible; it takes less time and uses less energy than a conventional oven.

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