FPL Blog http://www.fplblog.com Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:18:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Robotics competition excites future engineers, computer scientists and other high-tech professionals http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/robotics-competition-excites-future-engineers-computer-scientists-and-other-high-tech-professionals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=robotics-competition-excites-future-engineers-computer-scientists-and-other-high-tech-professionals http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/robotics-competition-excites-future-engineers-computer-scientists-and-other-high-tech-professionals/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:53:58 +0000 Brian Mangan http://www.fplblog.com/?p=3258 For the second year in a row, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the FIRST Robotics South Florida Regionals Competition, an incredible combination of hard work and pure fun. You may wonder what a high school robotics competition has to do with maintaining Florida Power & Light Company’s current fleet of modern fuel-efficient power plants. While power generation and working with robotics are two very different things, the teamwork, skill, dedication, and determination required to be successful at each is very similar.

At this year’s South Florida competition, high school robotics teams from all over the region, plus other states and Mexico, face-off in a game called Aerial Assist. The game consists of three robots per team, on a flat 25’ x 54’ field, that try to score as many balls into a goal as possible during a two-and-a-half minute match. Behind the scenes are FPL’s talented welders, machinists and engineers who manned the “Robot Urgent Care” center, a machine shop for repairing “injured” robots.

At the care center, students and the FPL team’s skills overlapped. The interaction between fellow craftsmen, while operating on damaged robot drive systems and broken appendages, provides insight to a career in the mechanical craft field. Not only are we helping teams to successfully complete months of hard work, but the FPL employees are introducing students to a world of design, fabrication, and manufacturing that they might not even know existed in the power industry.

FPL’s support of FIRST Robotics encourages future engineers, mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, machinists and mechanics. If the respect, dedication, and teamwork these students exhibited at the competition reflect future FPL employees, our future is looking bright.

 

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Turning computers off vs. sleep mode http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/turning-computers-off-vs-sleep-mode/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=turning-computers-off-vs-sleep-mode http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/turning-computers-off-vs-sleep-mode/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:41:36 +0000 Energy Expert http://www.fplblog.com/?p=3155 http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/turning-computers-off-vs-sleep-mode/feed/ 0 2014 Power to Care Makes A Difference Across the State http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/2014-power-to-care-makes-a-difference-across-the-state/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2014-power-to-care-makes-a-difference-across-the-state http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/2014-power-to-care-makes-a-difference-across-the-state/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:19:24 +0000 Pam Rauch http://www.fplblog.com/?p=3022 There’s nothing like helping someone else. Studies show that the more people volunteer, the happier they are. It connects you to others, it’s good for your mind and body, it’s fun!
 
This past week, more than 1,300 NextEra Energy employees and their families in Florida were able to get out and do something nice for our community. We saw support and enthusiasm from all levels of the company. Monday through Saturday, employees participated in 29 events, including 24 on Saturday! 

Everywhere we went, our hosts were shocked at how hard our folks worked and how much we got done. All I can say is that if you volunteered last week, thank you for personifying our company values. Please take a minute to appreciate the immediate and lasting positive impact of your work. The Power to Care projects, which covered a wide spectrum of activities, not only help the individuals who are served by the various community organizations that we partnered with, but also the people who work at each location.

The week kicked off with our largest employee volunteer event in the history of the six years of Power to Care. Close to 200 of us met at Washington Elementary in Riviera Beach, a Title One school that was actually on the list to be demolished a few years ago. But when the economy took a turn for the worse and dollars got tight, the Palm Beach School District had to work with what it had and the school stayed as it was; no additional money or work has been invested there in several years.

Well, we changed that on Monday, March 3. Every exterior wall was painted, gardens thinned, reading areas carved out, vegetables planted and beautiful expansive murals were hand-painted. The school’s principal Sandra Edwards wrote a blog about the day and its impact.

As a touching sidebar to this event, Information Management employee Dan Russell from the Toledo Blade Service Center in North Port drove across the state to participate in this event. His son works at the school as a learning specialist, and Dan loved the idea of being able to do something special for his son’s school and its students.

The rest of the week was equally rewarding and special. In Collier County, we helped construct wire cages to protect sea turtle eggs. In Broward, our volunteers sorted clothes for the homeless and spruced up a foster home. While in Miami, we assembled furniture and painted the gym for  a Boys & Girls Club. Check out Clubs’ Executive Director Alex Rodriguez-Roig’s blog about the day.

While Power to Care Week may be over for this year, please know that Power to Care events are not limited to just one week. We plan dozens of these volunteer events throughout the year. Likewise, I hope that our company events encourage you and your family to connect with your community and to make it a better place to live, work and play.

See more highlights from FPL’s Power to Care Week on our Facebook page.

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Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade & FPL Team Up http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/boys-and-girls-clubs-of-miami-dade-fpl-team-up-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boys-and-girls-clubs-of-miami-dade-fpl-team-up-2 http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/boys-and-girls-clubs-of-miami-dade-fpl-team-up-2/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:45:25 +0000 AlexRodriguez http://www.fplblog.com/?p=3068 One of the hardest things families face today is balancing the responsibilities of work with raising kids in an environment that will allow them to reach their potential.

This is where Boys & Girls Clubs come into play. Our job is to help young people, especially those living in tough environments, to develop into productive, caring and responsible citizens. We run five clubs across the county, serving 8,000 kids, but we can’t do it alone.

Today, a team of close to 100 volunteers from Florida Power & Light Company came to our Kendall Club facility and painted walls, including the outside of our gymnasium, assembled some new cool furniture and basically gave the entire place a facelift. We are so thankful that their hard work made this safe place for children to learn and grow an even more welcoming one. The kids will be so happy to see their refreshed club!

See more highlights from FPL’s Power to Care Week on our Facebook page.

It’s amazing how much your surroundings can impact you. Coming to a clean, safe and well-kept place is important so our kids can focus on learning and growing. Thanks to partners like FPL, our kids see and know firsthand that our community is willing to come here and work hard just for them.

Today’s project was part of FPL’s sixth annual Power to Care Week, which includes dozens of volunteer events in areas all across the state. We have a long and positive history with FPL and we are so glad to have their support, including the addition of our newest board member – Willie Ho, who is a director in the company’s customer service department.

If you want to make a difference in a child’s life, whether it’s reading, teaching kids to sew or throw a ball, we welcome your inquiries and your willingness to reach out and help. Please call us at (305) 446-9910 and we will match your time, talent and treasures to an area, on a schedule, at a location, that works for you.

We have a lot to be grateful for today. Thank you to FPL and all our other community partners for doing all you can do to help our kids.

Alex Rodriguez-Roig
President
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

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How do I find out if my A/C is controlled by my humidistat or thermostat? http://www.fplblog.com/ask-the-expert/how-do-i-find-out-if-my-ac-is-controlled-by-my-humidistat-or-thermostat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-do-i-find-out-if-my-ac-is-controlled-by-my-humidistat-or-thermostat http://www.fplblog.com/ask-the-expert/how-do-i-find-out-if-my-ac-is-controlled-by-my-humidistat-or-thermostat/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:38:07 +0000 Energy Expert http://www.fplblog.com/?p=3110 http://www.fplblog.com/ask-the-expert/how-do-i-find-out-if-my-ac-is-controlled-by-my-humidistat-or-thermostat/feed/ 0 It Takes a Community http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/it-takes-a-community/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=it-takes-a-community http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/it-takes-a-community/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:39:01 +0000 Sandra Edwards http://www.fplblog.com/?p=2984 Overseeing the elementary school experience of 400 students and their families is my job and my joy as the principal at Washington Elementary School in Riviera Beach. Research confirms — and I am convinced — of the importance top-quality early education plays in helping shape a students’ future academic and professional success.

We are the 11th largest school district in the nation, serving more than 181,000 students.  We are very proud of the fact that our district is the top-performing urban school district in the State of Florida.

But we do have challenges, such as balancing finite resources that occasionally defer capital improvements to accommodate student and teacher needs. It’s a balancing act.

Today, however, those improvements didn’t need to take a back seat because our school campus was overwhelmed by the generosity of  hundreds of Florida Power and Light employees. FPL calls it part of their “Power to Care” week; I call it an extraordinary demonstration of community involvement and commitment. Our district’s facility maintenance teams also played a vital role in the physical transformation, by prepping the school in a way that maximized the effectiveness of FPL volunteers … I want to offer my deepest thanks to everyone who came together and contributed to this remarkable makeover. The before and after photos tell the story, please take a look:


To view images from FPL’s Power to Care Week, visit FPL’s Facebook page.

Our students and teachers are working hard, now they’ll know our community is working just as hard for them. This is a school campus they can be proud of and pride in your school is a cornerstone for success.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who came together today to make Washington Elementary the best it can be. And a special thanks to the hundreds of FPL volunteers who demonstrated our community’s strength resides in our Power to Care.

If you, your friends, family or business want to roll up your sleeves at one of the 185 schools in our district, please call our district business partnership coordinator at 561-434-7323.

With respect and gratefulness,

Sandra Edwards

Principal, Washington Elementary School
Striving for Excellence, Achieving Success
Riviera Beach, FL

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Helping students hit solar-powered high notes http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/helping-students-hit-solar-powered-high-notes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=helping-students-hit-solar-powered-high-notes http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/helping-students-hit-solar-powered-high-notes/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 19:57:38 +0000 Buck Martinez http://www.fplblog.com/?p=2954 Miami Carol City Senior High School Jazz band is plugging into the Florida sunshine with the help of FPL.  The 20-member student band is benefiting from the school’s ability to offset energy usage during their practice sessions with electricity from solar energy.  As part of its ongoing commitment to clean energy and education, FPL is installing solar arrays at more than 90 educational facilities across Florida, including Miami Carol City Senior High. The initiative will inspire students to learn how clean, solar energy works and how it can power their future.

And speaking of the future, the Miami-area high school musicians are hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of the school’s famous musical alumni such as Flo Rida, Rick Ross and Brisco. In fact, they’ll see a host of world-renowned performers at the upcoming Ninth Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival (March 14-16, 2014) in Miami Gardens, Fla. FPL will be right there with them supporting this annual event that’s so important to South Florida.

The solar array at the high school is projected to provide enough electricity to light up five classrooms as well as generate enough savings to cover the cost of the entire band’s admission to the City of Miami Gardens’ landmark musical festival.  Learn more about FPL’s solar programs.

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What are the best A/C settings for snowbirds? http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/what-are-the-best-ac-settings-for-snowbirds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-are-the-best-ac-settings-for-snowbirds http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/what-are-the-best-ac-settings-for-snowbirds/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:30:26 +0000 Energy Expert http://www.fplblog.com/?p=2939 http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/what-are-the-best-ac-settings-for-snowbirds/feed/ 3 Committed to Excellence http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/committed-to-excellence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=committed-to-excellence http://www.fplblog.com/featured-posts/committed-to-excellence/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 23:16:56 +0000 Mark Hickson http://www.fplblog.com/?p=2916 As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month, I reflect on one of the many lessons he left behind – excellence. In the words of the great Dr. King, “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

I am proud to work for a company that is committed to excellence.  Every day we deliver a strong customer value proposition that includes low-cost, reliable service. By establishing high standards of quality, driving continuous improvement, making fact-based decisions, working safely, and holding ourselves accountable, we create a culture of excellence within our organization that provides value for all of our stakeholders.

By treating people with respect, we continually foster a culture of excellence. We have a culture of inclusion, in which an employee’s voice is encouraged and heard. Employees feel respected and appreciated for who they are, not just for the work they do. The support and commitment they feel from others allows our employees to do their best work – to be excellent.

One employee networking group that fosters inclusion and diversity, the African-American Professional Employee Group, is celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a day of community service—building a large community garden at the Lauderhill Community YMCA and completing home improvement projects for seniors. I’m extremely proud of the group’s commitment to excellence and making a difference in our community.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and every day, we honor Dr. King’s legacy by striving for excellence in all that we do.

 

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Programmable vs. “smart” thermostats http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/programmable-vs-smart-thermostats/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=programmable-vs-smart-thermostats http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/programmable-vs-smart-thermostats/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:22:10 +0000 Patrick Agnew http://www.fplblog.com/?p=2902 http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/programmable-vs-smart-thermostats/feed/ 4