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CHANGING THE CURRENT

CHANGING THE CURRENT

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8 tips to stay safe during cold weather

As temperatures drop in Florida, you may be tempted to pull out your space heater to stay warm. While space heaters may provide an extra source of heat, it’s important to take proper precautions and stay safe: Use space heaters for only limited amounts of time and not as a primary heat source. Direct the heater to warm people, […]

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More sunshine on the way: FPL continues its successful affordable clean energy strategy with three more solar power plants

At FPL, we love solar. We know that it is an important part of our state’s energy mix, so we’ve been working hard to find ways to advance solar energy in the Sunshine State without increasing electricity costs. Currently, solar power – even the most economical large-scale installation – is generally not yet cost-effective in […]

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Even better things are on the horizon

Everyone likes a brighter, better day. That’s why we’re doing our part to ensure the brightest days are ahead for your family in 2015. Keeping Florida a great place to live and do business is important for all of us. Spreading the sunshine At FPL, making tomorrow better means continuing to make the most of […]

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Thinking small makes a big difference

FPL supports more than 450,000 small and medium businesses in the 35 counties we serve. This holiday season, we are encouraging all our customers to shop smart by shopping local. Extend Black Friday by shopping local for Small Business Saturday® on Nov. 29. By exploring neighborhood shops, you can find creative and unique gift options that may not […]

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Ensuring Reliability

Getting your life back to normal faster after a storm

As president of Florida Power & Light Company, Eric Silagy leads the thousands of employees who bring affordable, reliable power to you every day. He’s raising his family here in the sunshine state, something that fuels his drive to always look for ways to make tomorrow better for all of us. If you’ve experienced a […]

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Old Poles Have New Life as Artificial Reefs

If you’re a local diver, angler and anyone who loves the ocean, I’ve got good news. You can now enjoy two new artificial reefs that were created using a donation of concrete FPL poles, right off the coast of St. Lucie County. Consider it  a new take on recycling! One of the things I love […]

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Restoring power -- anytime, anywhere

From time to time, you may see an FPL truck parked near your home late at night, possibly even when your power is working just fine. Don’t be alarmed. Our crews work around the clock to restore power, and they may need to work on equipment located near you to resolve an outage in your […]

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Energy Efficiency

Students see solar energy in action

Schools across Florida are using our state’s sunshine to help power classrooms and teach kids about clean energy. Through FPL’s Solar Pilot Program, nearly 100 schools and other educational facilities will be getting special solar-panel displays by the end of 2014. While installing solar panels can be out of reach for many Floridians, these facilities […]

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Craig Muccio

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

On or off? What you should do before leaving for your summer trip

By Craig Muccio

Asked on: June 30, 2015 by Debbie C., Virginia Gardens

We’re going on vacation. What are the best A/C settings, and what other steps can I take to save while I'm away?

Before hitting the road for your trip, take a few minutes to ensure that your home is as ready for your vacation as you are!

My tips below will help you if you’ll be traveling for about a week or two. For extended vacations, such as a few months, check out the useful tips in this seasonal customer blog.

So, what should you leave on, turn off or unplug completely while you’re away? Here are some of the top things that can help you save money and keep your home safe: 

A/C: On
Leaving your A/C on, with its fan switch set to “auto” mode, will help to keep indoor humidity under control while you’re gone. A programmable thermostat will allow you to be more energy efficient than a manual one. But, each one has an ideal setting that can help you save.

Manual thermostat

Programmable thermostat

80 degrees: Homes and townhouses

77 degrees: Condos and apartments

72 degrees: Two hours before sunrise

88 degrees: The rest of the day


Ceiling fans: Off
If you’re leaving for months at a time, consider using a stand-alone dehumidifier which will help you save the most energy, while also preventing mold. We cover this, and information about humidistats, in our seasonal customer blog.

It’s tempting to want to leave your ceiling fans on thinking they will prevent mold. But, ceiling fans are not necessary since your A/C is already circulating air. Plus, fans cool people not rooms, so save by turning off ceiling fans when you’re not home. Read my ceiling fan blog to learn more.

Electronics: Unplug
Unplugging electronics before you leave for vacation will help you save because many of them use electricity, even while you’re not using them – something called phantom energy. Unplugging electronics will also help to protect them from lightning strikes while you’re traveling. Phantom energy, or phantom load, is electricity consumed by an electrical device when it is in the “off” mode.In this Ask the Energy Expert video, my colleague shows you an easy way to determine what you should unplug.  

Water heater: Off
A traditional, tank-style electric water heater keeps your water hot day and night so it’s available when you need it. If you’re not going to be home, you’ll save a few bucks by turning it off. See how to look for your tank’s on/off switch. If you’re going to be away for an extended period and don’t have an on/off switch, you may also turn off the unit using your home’s main circuit breaker.

Main water valve: Off
Turn off your home’s main water valve, unless you have an automatic fire-sprinkler system. In that case, you can turn off the water valves directly leading to your washing machine, sinks, dishwasher and toilets. This can help you avoid very costly repairs in case something happens, like an old hose bursting. 

Other:

  • For the best air flow throughout your home, keep bedroom doors and A/C vents open.
  • Consider leaving a light plugged in, but on a timer, to make it look like you’re home.
  • If your vacation is during hurricane season, have a plan for getting your hurricane shutters installed if a storm forms while you’re away.
  • We also recommend combiningFPL Email Bill® and FPL Automatic Bill Pay® for the easiest way to receive and pay your FPL bill while you’re enjoying your trip.

Have a question I didn’t answer? We’ll consider it for a future blog post. From all of us here, have a great vacation!

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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