Florida and Florida Power & Light customers are occasionally faced with cold fronts during otherwise relatively mild winters. As winter approaches, FPL is continuing to add new power generation and offer voluntary energy conservation programs to meet the growing needs of residents and businesses.
"We also annually train our work force and review our contingency plans for dealing with winter storms and electricity shortages resulting from increased demand for electricity," said Armando Olivera, FPL senior vice president for power supply.
FPL's plans include working together with other utilities and the State of Florida should a weather or capacity emergency develop. Additionally, FPL would communicate with customers through the news media if special conservation efforts were needed or if weather-related outages were probable.
"We are prepared to manage and respond to winter weather and storms," Mr. Olivera said. "We routinely monitor inclement weather systems and schedule additional utility crews to be available if service problems are anticipated."
The following are FPL tips to help customers lower their bills and use energy wisely and safely:
* Be aware of the weather forecast in your area and make a plan for cold
weather in advance.
* Turn your heat on low (68 degrees) before cold weather arrives and wear
warm clothes; then your heater won't have to work so hard to warm up the
house when you wake up in the morning or come home from work.
* Close off vents in unoccupied rooms so as not to waste energy.
* Leave shades and curtains open on sunny days to warm the house.
* Demand for electricity on a cold day is usually highest between
6 and 10 a.m.; during that time, use energy conservatively; for example,
delay doing laundry until late morning or early afternoon.
* Close the flue and cover your fireplace when not in use.
* If you have a heat pump, keep it free of debris and/or shrubbery.
* Should you experience a power outage for any reason, report it by
calling FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE.
If you rely on portable electric space heaters to remove winter's chill, here are some guidelines to operate them safely and efficiently.
* Use portable electric space heaters for limited amounts of time and not
as a primary heat source; and always turn them off before you leave the
* Set the heater on the lowest comfortable setting.
* Direct the heater to warm people, not space.
* Keep flammable materials and children at a safe distance.
* Unplug the heater when not in use.
* Avoid using extension cords.
* Never use the kitchen stove as a heater.
* Remember, the prolonged use of portable electric space heaters could add
as much as 30 percent to the cost of your monthly electric bill.
Consider some activities that will help you use energy wisely for the long-term.
* Clean or replace the filter on your central heat/air system at least
once a month.
* Pull your refrigerator out from the wall and clean the coils at least
once a year.
* Insulate hot water pipes and older water heaters to minimize heat loss.
* Weather strip and caulk windows and door frames.
* Don't run your pool pump around the clock; during the winter FPL
recommends operating it from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
* Make sure you have the right amount of ceiling insulation (R19 is
* Duct leaks in your electric heat/air handling system can increase
heating costs by 37 percent; call 1-800-DIAL FPL to arrange a duct test.
* If you live in central or north Florida -- or heat your home at least 11
days a year -- consider installing an electric heat pump; it can save 30
percent on winter electric bills.
FPL offers a variety of incentive programs to help customers make energy- efficient upgrades to their homes. For more information on no-and-low cost tips or these incentive programs, call 1-800-DIAL FPL.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. , one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of more than $6 billion. The company serves 3.8 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's U.S. and international energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.fpl.com.
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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light Company