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Ask the Energy Expert
Energy Expert

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.

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

Turning computers off vs. sleep mode

What saves the most money? Putting my computer in sleep mode, or turning it off and on when I need it?

Every dollar counts when you’re trying to save money. That’s why we recommend you turn off your computer when you are not using it. Another best practice is to activate the sleep mode on your computer and monitor. These features can help you save money and are easy to implement.

Cost comparison
So what if you left your computer on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Here’s approximately how much it would cost:

  • Powered on: $89 per year
  • Sleep mode: $20 per year – nearly a $70 savings

These estimates are based on one desktop computer with an LCD screen. Laptops actually use less energy.

Myth busted
A question we often get is whether or not it costs more money to power a computer back up after turning it off. Generally, the extra savings you get from turning your computer off far outweigh the extra power used when starting it up the next time it’s needed.

Everyday tips
Here are some general guidelines for the most-efficient computer use:

  • Turn off the monitor if you are not going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes.
  • Turn off both the computer and monitor if you are not going to use your computer for more than 2 hours.

Visit energy.gov for more energy-efficient computer recommendations. We can also help you find ways to save in your home just by taking our free Online Home Energy Survey.

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Turning computers off vs. sleep mode

What saves the most money? Putting my computer in sleep mode, or turning it off and on when I need it?

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How do I find out if my A/C is controlled by my humidistat or thermostat?

I recently replaced my A/C and the new controls will only run the A/C if BOTH the TEMPERATURE and the HUMIDITY settings are exceeded. What should I do?

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What are the best A/C settings for snowbirds?

I have my thermostat/humidistat set to 80/60 while away up north. I watch my usage via my energy dashboard, but wondered if these are the best settings to save energy and prevent issues?

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Programmable vs. “smart” thermostats

Do you have recommendations on which thermostats are best to use in Florida?

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What’s the best way to heat a Florida home

What’s the best heating system to have for cold snaps: my standard A/C system with heating or should I look into investing in a heat pump?

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Which household appliances use the most electricity?

Which appliances use the most electricity in the house and contribute the most to your electric bill?

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Microwave, electric oven or slow cooker – Which uses the least energy?

What uses the least amount of energy when cooking: a microwave, electric oven or slow cooker?

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Phone chargers – Keep plugged in all the time or unplug?

Does it take more energy to leave a phone charger in the outlet, even when it isn’t charging?

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Turning the A/C up or leaving it at the same temperature. Which is better?

Is it more economical to turn the A/C up during the day and down at night, or leave it at the same temperature all day? 

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How to save money using the Energy Dashboard

How do I find out how to save money and energy using my smart meter?

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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.


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