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CHANGING THE CURRENT

CHANGING THE CURRENT

It's all about you

Tiffany Spence

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Tiffany Spence is an energy expert at Florida Power & Light Company. She’s conducted thousands of energy audits at homes and businesses, helping customers find new ways to make their bills even lower.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

What you need to know before you head home

By Tiffany Spence

Asked on: January 25, 2017 by Divina M., Sarasota

What can snowbirds do to save the most energy while we are up north?

Great question, Divina, and one we get asked a lot. Having the opportunity to answer questions like this is one of the best parts of my job. I enjoy providing advice to help our customers save.

What temperature should I keep my home at while I’m away…that’s the million dollar question
We’ve done a lot of research on this topic and the best A/C setting to cool your home while you’re away is between 72 and 80 degrees, but that depends on the type of thermostat you have.

If you have a programmable thermostat, we recommend setting your A/C to cool your home at 72 degrees with the fan switched to “auto” for just two hours each morning before sunrise and 88 degrees the rest of the time.

For a manual or non-programmable thermostat, with the fan switched to “auto,” set your A/C to cool at 80 degrees for homes and 77 degrees for condos or apartments during the day.

Remember to set the controls of your humidistats and/or dehumidifiers to 58 percent relative humidity, or RH, to maintain acceptable humidity, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points. 

Monitor your energy use from wherever you are
You can also manage your energy use by the month, day or hour while you’re away. Check out your Energy Dashboard on any computer or smart device from wherever you are to see how much energy you’re actually using at your Florida home. An unexpected increase in energy usage while you’re away could mean an appliance or A/C malfunction that, if left unaddressed, could be costly.

If you haven’t tried it yet, the Energy Dashboard is simple to use. Just log in to your account on FPL.com, and once you’re logged in, scroll down on the page until you see the ‘energy usage’ header. From there you can click on the ‘visit energy dashboard’ link. For complete instructions, check out our Energy Dashboard user guide.

Let us help you simplify
Another suggestion is to set yourself up to have the easiest FPL billing experience while you’re away. You can receive your monthly bills via email with FPL Email Bill®. And then, you can sign up for FPL Automatic Bill Pay® to ensure on-time payment of your bills. It’s simple – just set it up once, and we’ll handle the rest.  

To see more energy-saving tips visit FPL.com/seasonal.

Thanks for asking this question and we look forward to having you back in a few months!

Your safety is very important to us. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. For non-emergencies, you can reach us during regular business hours via Facebook private message, or follow and message us on Twitter and one of our representatives will assist you. To report an outage, please call 1-800-4-Outage. Thank you and please stay safe.

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Comments [71]

  1. Gerald e Samson

    Gone north Apri 4 th 700am power turned off!

  2. Lola Krugel

    I am not a snowbird, how do I keep my bill from rising during spring & summer months?

  3. Al Sandor

    I plan to leave my AC set at 78 degrees when I head north for the summer.
    I have a half of a double that is 1400 sqft.
    Why should I have a dehumidifier running while I am gone? I thought that the AC takes care of reducing the humidity in the house.

  4. Al Sandor

    Why should I leave a dehumidifier running while I am up north for the summer?
    I plan to leave my AC set at 78 degrees and I thought that would take care of the humidity.

  5. Leonard Saluto

    Please send me info on surge protector deals that I have lost!

    Thanks

    Leonard Saluto

  6. Therese Lonergan

    Use lu I paya round $11.00 our $12.00 à Monthey. This Month it i $21.00
    What New Therese is no body in the house
    Thank you

  7. MARGO KOTOWSKI

    I dont even have it on 72 when I live here,its to cold

  8. MARGO KOTOWSKI

    YOUR SETTING FOR SNOWBIRDS IS TO LOW,I SET MINE ON 60H
    AND 84 DEGREES AND I LEAVE ALL THE DOOR OPEN FOR GOOD CIRCULATION

  9. Ferid Colic

    For the last several days my lights flickering and all my electronic equipment goes down. TV, Cable modem, computers. Even that I bought UPS and connected cable modem on it, didn’t help. Please advise!

  10. jesus

    hello how much do we pay per kwh an hour. thank you

  11. Barry

    You are giving invalid information pertaining to the snowbirds energy savings. You state “for a manual or non-programmable thermostat, with the fan switched to “auto” set your A/C to cool at 77 degrees for condos during the day.” If it is non-programmable, then it has to be for the ENTIRE day not just during the day.

  12. Sandra McCauley

    Received a letter along for my bill for 38300 12.08. It set up like the others to automatically be paid. I received a notice from the bank that you were trying to take the money out ahead of the scheduled time. I did not stop it. I checked my bank account and showed that you removed 12.08 for that account on 2/1/17. Is that not right.

  13. Amy

    Our lights are flickering every couple hours. This has been happening for about a week now. Is there anything we can do?

    -Amy

  14. Harry Callahan

    We will be moving and I am wanting to find out the average FPL bill in the new address. Do I need to call or can I get this on line?

  15. Anne Aristide

    My AC Heating system is OFF. However, some days the dashboard shows high usage when I’m not even home most of the day.

    Also, all of my appliances are electric except the water heater is gas installed by the builder and they would not change to electric. Question: Is there a service charge on my bill because I do not heat with an electric water heater?

  16. Dollie Robinson

    I just want to thank you FP&L for the wonderful job you are doing on saving me on my light bill. I am apart of your energy program and I certainly see the difference in my bill each month.

    I have also set up the program for my rental property and already with last month bill I can see the difference.

    Thank you! Thank you so much! Every penny saved towards energy is a penny put towards feeding my family.

    God Bless FP&L

    Ms. Robinson

  17. Sally Philips

    On its front page, its first article, EnergyNews (February 2017) has a neat picture of a sign saying “Welcome to Florida the Sunshine State.” And yet, FLORIDA Power and Light produces less than 1% of its electricity through solar energy. There is nothing in the newsletter about FP&L’s expanding its solar production of electricity nor of developing more efficient ways to harvest solar energy. WHY IS THAT?

  18. craig cormier

    have rinnai tankless water heater. going away for week. is it ok to shut off water main to whole house. do I need to shut off water heater

  19. craig cormier

    going on vacation for 1 week. want to shut off water to whole house. have rinnai tankless water heater, is it ok for that unit if it doesn’t have water or do I need to shut off this unit thank you

  20. PAULO S PEREIRA

    I joined FPL in January and am moving in this weekend. The house has been empty since. I received a bill of $300. Is that correct? No one is at the house and the energy was left on minimum.

  21. Bill

    Are there peak and off peak hours. Like after 6pm are the rates cheaper then say during the day.

  22. ROSA E KASSE

    I AM SO TIRE OF PAYING AND PAYING YOUR BILL EVERY MONTH THAT ARE HIGHER AND HIGHER.

    I LIVE BY MYSELF ALONE. WASH CLOTHS ONCE A MONTH. COOK, MAYBE ONCE A MONTH…. AND PUT MY A/C AT 75 EVERY DAY. HOWEVER, MY ELECTRIC BILL NEVER GOES DOWN……….

    HOW CAN I PAY YOUR COMPANY LESS BEING BY MYSELF ALONE, NOT COOKING OR WASHING CLOTHS EVERY DAY NEITHER USING ELECTRICITY ALL DAY????

  23. alejandra

    Hello, I want to know why this month I paid more than the last one?

    Regards,

  24. robert kossowski

    i have been paying my bill on line for years with no problem but the last few months the on line bill paying option has been hard to use because you put in your id and pass word and it says you are wrong and i have not changed my id or password sometime it says I’m wrong and i haven’t typed anything.

    I’m tell you this because i don’t know who else to tell but i think your on line site needs some attn. i don’t need a reply just needed to tell some one that there might be a problem with your on line bill paying site. thanks Robert kossowski fpl customer.

  25. Jackie Fresta

    Hi Tiffany – I see that you’ve conducted thousands of energy audits at homes and businesses – which is exactly why I’ve visited the FPL website today… I heard that service often advertised by Duke Energy – where do I sign up to have someone from FPL come to my home for an energy audit?
    Thanks!
    Jackie

  26. Barbaro Mas

    I really do not understand what happens, I have raised the payment for the month of February by 150%, explaining that the reason is that they do not receive the reading of the metro, which has difficulties and needs to be replaced. So my concern is that my historical payments are:
       Payments Years 2015 2016

      November 104.31 117.27
      Dec. 112.87 81.80
                                              
        2016 2017

      January 102.17 89.62
      February 89.35 131.90
      + Diffusion 40.66

    Total differences 408.70 461.25
    More over historic 52.55

    I ask you to analyze this situation and change the metro counter.

  27. Susan Frank

    I perhaps would have also suggested that the water heater be turned off. Or at the least, if on a timer, set to the minimum allowable time in the off peak hrs.

    I also make sure that my freezer is emptied of food stuffs and just stocked with frozen gallon jugs of water–topped off of course before freezing. A freezer works more efficiently when filled properly. I then lower the freezer temp. I do the same with the refrigerator.

    I make sure all clock radios, electrical appliances, etc. are unplugged

    I adjust the automatic water sprinkling system to the weather conditions expected for the period I will be away.

    And, although not an electrical issue, I do make sure all water to the sinks and toilets are turned off. There is nothing more daunting than returning to a flooded home. Not an electrical issue, but certainly worth noting is I pour 1 cup of clorox into each toilet bowl and then seal with plastic wrap. They are sparkling clean, even after 8 mos.

    Another electrical issue is leaving a car in the garage over a period of time. Certainly not an electric company’s concern, but interesting. Disconnect the battery or invest in a “battery sitter”. (Perhaps you should sell them)! I then
    leave charcoal briguettes spread out on newspaper on the floor of the auto–as well as hanging a bag or two water absorbing “Damp Rid”. Leave the windows cracked.

    Although all not electrical issues, I think attempting to be cost efficient in many ways are related. It makes us all better and provides for a better environment.

    Thanks so much for your continued fantastic service and dedication to providing an affordable product.

    Sincerely, Susan

  28. William & Donna Michalowski

    Also, would like information on generator back ups?

  29. William & Donna Michalowski

    Looking for information about power surge protection for the house

  30. gilbert Lafe

    during winter months in florida at what degree should my humidistats be at and what should the humidity be in the house

  31. Miriam Lemoine

    Hi

    I just added an inground pool, and I have solar panels to heat the pool, yet my electric bill almost doubled. What else can I do to get the cost down.

    Thank you,

    Miriam Lemoine

  32. John Longman

    When can I get solar panels on my roof. I would like to get solar with a battery back up system from tesla

  33. Ronda F Plummer

    Hi! I was recently inspected by one of your field service representatives, concerning very large power bills for my home. The representative was Paul Freeburn. I was expecting a salesman that would tell me I needed new windows, etc., but was growing desperate to find out what was the cause. I really felt we were having power stolen at our home. Instead, what I got was an earnest, very likable individual. who took the time to go through my home, inside and out, checked our meter (offering to have it tested), and eventually find the possible culprit for the bill. He was informative, thorough, and easy to follow. Our new light bill dropped yesterday, and had over a $200.00 drop. New pipes and hot water heater later, he helped solve our problem! I would sincerely like to thank both FPL and Paul personally for really alleviating our home energy woes. Way to go!!!

  34. Gabriel Ruiz

    If I program certain appliances like the dish washer or Pool Pump to run on off-peak times will I save some money? It seams the rate per kw/h is lower at off-peak times.

    Will that apply even if I’m in budget billing?

    Thanks!

  35. Ron wroblewski

    How about shutting your water heater off?

  36. Tiffany

    I live in a large condo complex, does FPL read my meter or are they estimating? Currently, I feel I’m being overcharged.

  37. Tiffany

    I live in a large condo complex. Is FPL reading my meter each month or estimating my usage? I feel I’m currently being overcharged.

  38. David / Mary Lou Stewart

    I just received my Jan/Feb bill and it had a $9.00 voluntary solar charge. This is new and unknown to me ,could you please explain why this charge I did not approve of is on my bill. Thank you

  39. Cindy Lynn

    Hi I go to Florida a month at a time and go back to Connecticut for a month or two months at a time is it better that I shut all power down except the air conditioner? Is it better for the refrigerator to stay one or shut it down

  40. Tom Bournique

    I saw that FPL has a plan for using energy at off hours. I am planning on buying an electric car and charging it at night. I normally use about 600K per month on average. The off hours energy rate is more for the first 1000 hrs, but would it be worth it for me to switch to this plan if I am going to be using more energy and can charge the car at night? Also what are the off peak energy hours.

  41. A. Pompeo

    When is the pick and low period time for the list and the most cost of energy?

  42. John

    Hello, I am thinking of replacing my ac in our condo, does FPl have any rebates or programs.

  43. dave

    My bill went up. What’s this all about, Alfie?

  44. Marie Piard

    I would like to save on electricity

  45. Patrick Martone

    We have a brand new one-story twin villa concrete block home, only used for short visits throughout the year. You say set “away” thermostat to 77 for condos and 80 for homes. I am an engineer and would like to know what we should set our thermostat to and why? Thank you very much!

  46. Patrick Martone

    This is a very informative and helpful website. Thank you for providing it.
    I have a question about “away from home” thermostat settings for seasonal residents: why do you say set thermostat to 77 for condos and 80 for houses? We have a one-story twin villa home with an attached 2-car garage in Estero, FL; it shares one concrete wall with an adjacent Year-round resident, and has an unfinished attic. What thermostat setting do you recommend Year round if we are not there, since we only use the house about 6 times a year for a long weekend. Thank you.

  47. Pierre Tremblay

    How about this,
    Humidistat set at 75% RH to permit the AC to operate if humidity gets above set point 75%, and AC set at 81Deg Auto fan.
    Run a dehumidifier at 50% RH with water hose to toilets.(will not dried)
    No mold should form with low RH below 80% or above.
    Temperature will get high, above the AC setting but will not work, since RH is low. If dehumidifier fails , AC will kick in and keep the place at 81, deg or low RH. I have been doing this for many years with good success.

  48. David Parsons

    What would be the most economical way to heat a normal household in-ground pool during the winter months in Florida.

  49. Gary L. Evans

    How much does a programmable thermostat save compared to a standard thermostat?

  50. Lois Fettis

    My FPL monthly bill is higher than any of my neighbors in the mobile home park even when I left Florida for 12days with furnace and A/C off. Had a/c checked…ok

  51. Lois Fettis

    My FPL bill is higher than all my neighbors even when I was absent from home 12 days one month. Had a/c checked–0k. Furnace /AC turned off while away! ????

  52. Laurel vinskus

    My bill is $20 for than people who hag 2in house hold during nothing different per month. Rag $80 a mo think to high

  53. Randy Rau

    When we leave for our summer home, we turn off our hot water heater.

  54. Jean claude Beauplan

    I need help to pay less in energy

  55. Jean claude Beauplan

    I pay to much money for electric bills
    How can you help me pay less ?

  56. edmund king

    cant get into my acc. password??? username????

  57. Kurt Faudel

    do you work with any reliable solar panel installers. Will it pay for itself in say 10 years or less.

  58. Stephen Pooley

    Does FPL do energy audits at personal residences? If so, how can I request one?

  59. Gordon Hughes

    SOME OF MY NEIGHBORS ARE LEAVING THEIR REFRIGERATORS ON ALL SUMMER WHILE WE ARE UP NORTH. I DISAGREE. I TURN MY OFF HOPING TO SAVE MONEY.
    THEY FILL THEIR REFRIGERATOR WITH SPICES, FLOUR, ETC. AND BAGS OF ICE IN THE FREEZER AND TRY TO FILL THE FRIDGE SPACE TO CUT DOWN ON THE SPACE THAT IS REQUIRED TO BE COOLED. THEY DO LEAVE THE REFRIGERATOR ON A LOW SETTING.
    WHAT ARE YOU THOUGHTS??

  60. Larry Niederman

    Setting the humidity at 56. That will control A C to stay off until humidity reached that level. Let me know.

  61. Anthony Martorano

    Why do we pay extra for Surge Shield? Shouldn’t surge protection come with my account? This is my only disappointment with FPL.

  62. Alexandra Roberts

    I’m buying a land in charlotte and want you to add inside a very little studio/office/depot/empty little room electricity for me …2 lights,2 electrical outlet for my phone/laptop/refrigerator and that’s all for now ,need an email to contact you it’s urgent,cannot stay in camping car for too long !!! How much it’s gonna cost for these few little things… When i’m ready to built my real house in the same land will call you back for the real big job,need more saving !!! Please take my message seriously…Right me back…FLORIDA POWER !!!

  63. T Mlodzianowski

    I was going to try to determine ways to decrease my energy, however, when I tried the onsite application – it only shows a closed account in 2014. The site does not allow me to enter the new account number??? I don’t see any option to contact general customer service except for this one so perhaps you can determine if there are ongoing IT issues causing this issue? Thank you.

  64. Barbara Neuhaus

    Is there a senior rate we can apply for?

  65. Harry Seeney

    My bill is the same amount as if im living there. Why is it 64.00 a month every month .When i was away for afew months the bill was about $20.00 a month.. Not using any electric.when gone..???

  66. Travis Gardner

    I am considering TOU metering. I have a 6.2 kw/h solar set up, and a Nissan leaf with a 24 kwh battery I only charge at night. When I received an analysts it looked like it only showed me if I changed 20% of my electricity to off peak times. It didnt appear to consider that I am sending electricity during on peak times, or that I am already using 70% of my electricity in off peak times. It showed about a 5$ price cut each month.

    Does TOU metering take electricity sent during on peak times and give the higher price to be used later at off peak times? Or is it just kwh for kwh no matter what time I am sending or receiving like normal metering?

  67. Suzanne Paul

    I need to speak to a real live person…can you give me a number? Trying to stop my Moms service but the automated system is telling me her last four numbers of her ss# dont match…help!!! Need the service stopped by
    THIS FRIDAY FEB 3

    THANK YOU
    Lesley

  68. shyrl Isom

    What temperature do you set heating home.thank you

  69. JAMES O'DELL

    Thursday afternoon we heard a pop noise & two receptacle surge protectors were blown & several room receptacle breakers were thrown. After replacing the surge protectors everything appears to operate as before. Can you offer any explanation or advise?

  70. David

    Hello,
    My energy bills especially during the summer months are astronomical. Our air conditioning system is 16 years old and is a 10 seer, most likely operating at a lower seer.

    I have looked at the comparison savings chart of the lower seer vs the higher 16 and up seer. There are obvious savings.

    The question is it really worth it to spend four thousand dollars for a new 16 seer unit or higher or should i keep riding out my air conditioner until it fails.

    Right now it’s operating ‘relatively’ fine.

  71. Karen Kirk

    I need to understand how you calculate tonnage for a residential house. I am getting estimates for a 4 ton and a 5 ton unit. I am being told the calculation is different for residential versus commercial. Can you please confirm?

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FPL reserves the right to edit any user submissions to "Ask the Energy Expert" for brevity or clarity. Publication of readers' questions or comments is at the sole discretion of FPL.