Florida Power & Light Company is taking advantage of July and August, Florida's hottest summer months, to find out how the color and material used on roofs affect energy usage in customers' homes.
FPL contracted the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the University of Central Florida's state funded research laboratory, to perform the research study in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity of Lee County. A variety of roof colors and materials are being tested on six homes within Habitat Beecher Village in east Fort Myers.
Prior to the new homeowners' arrival, Habitat for Humanity of Lee County agreed to let FPL use six of the new homes during a one-month-long study, to monitor air conditioning energy use. As part of FPL's Cool Communities research and development project, the hourly energy consumption will be measured with the central air conditioning systems maintaining the same temperature in six identical homes (except for roof material and color). The energy usage of the air conditioners and other appliances will also be measured for an additional month after the homes have been occupied. The new owners have agreed to leave their thermostats at the preset temperature for the first month.
The roof types included in the study are dark gray shingle, white shingle, white flat tile, white S-shaped tile, terra cotta S-shaped "Spanish" tile, and white metal.
FPL energy specialists expect to gain valuable information on how color choice, roof material, and tile shape effect energy usage and peak demand for electricity in Florida homes. Researchers expect to have preliminary results from the study by October 2000. FPL plans to use the results to update state building code energy performance calculations and examine the possibility of developing a program that would promote the selection of white or light colored roofs for energy conservation.
Florida Power & Light is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc.
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SOURCE: Florida Power & Light
Contact: Media Relations, Duty Officer, 305-552-3888 or Investor
Relations, Lisa Kuzel, 561-694-6497 both of FPL Group, Inc.