Progress Energy Florida customers surpass $1 billion in energy-cost savings
Article below as it appeared on Progress Energy
June 2nd, 2009
Company files plan to increase energy-efficiency by 50 percent in 10 years
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 2, 2009) -- Progress Energy Florida's customers have saved $1 billion since 1981 by participating in energy-efficiency programs, and the company is proposing a plan that would save customers even more money.
The company filed a 10-year plan with the Florida Public Service Commission Monday to increase the company's existing energy-efficiency goal of 412 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) by nearly 50 percent throughout the course of the plan. The plan also outlines Progress Energy Florida's forward-thinking approach to:
- Encouraging customer adoption of solar power and other promising alternative and renewable energy technologies;
- Developing innovative energy-efficiency initiatives;
- Beginning the transition to a "Smart Grid;" and
- Enhancing educational opportunities for customers.
"As the costs of life's essentials continue to rise, we know our customers want more options for saving on their energy bills, and we're working to design programs that fit a variety of lifestyles and needs," said Progress Energy Florida President and CEO Jeff Lyash. "We are working to help our customers save the next billion dollars even more quickly than the first by introducing a number of exciting, new customer initiatives that will help customers save money, and help the company achieve the aggressive goals outlined in our energy efficiency plan."
To achieve the energy-saving goals set forth in its filing, Progress Energy Florida proposes enhancing its existing energy-efficiency programs with new offerings designed to increase customer participation and to maximize the energy savings that will lower energy bills. This aggressive approach requires an equally ambitious strategy to encourage the adoption of solar power and other promising renewable energy technologies. If approved, the Progress Energy Florida initiatives will include:
- Renewable Energy
- Solar PV Incentive for Residential -- This new initiative will provide incentives of up to 25 percent of the purchase price of the system to residential customers who install a new solar photovoltaic (PV) array on their homes. Combined with federal and potential state incentives and rebates, customers can offset up to 75 percent of the installation cost.
- Solar PV Incentive for Business -- Similar to the new residential initiative, this incentive will encourage the commercial installation of new solar PV arrays. Commercial customers installing solar PV would be paid per kilowatt-hour for energy produced.
- Solar Water Heating with EnergyWise -- The rebate offered through the existing program that encourages residential customers to install solar thermal water heater systems in their homes will be increased from $450 to $500.
- Carbon Footprint Initiative -- Planners could "offset" the impact of the carbon emitted as a result of their meetings by funding renewable energy and energy-efficiency initiatives that help customers in low-income neighborhoods adopt clean, renewable energy sources and/or maximize their energy efficiency.
- Solar for Schools -- A modification to this existing program, SolarWise for Schools, will allow students and parents of students attending select schools to help obtain solar PV system for the schools through a school-based fundraiser.
- Energy Efficiency
- Business Energy Saver -- This initiative involves installing a comprehensive, designated package of energy-efficiency devices/upgrades in small businesses in designated, low-income neighborhoods and providing energy education at no cost to the owner. An associated pilot project launched in Midtown St. Petersburg in 2008.
- Neighborhood Energy Saver -- Five energy-efficiency improvements -- insulation, energy-efficient reflective roofing, an energy-efficient heating system, window film/solar screens and maintenance of the heating and cooling system -- will be added to the 16 currently provided through the program that has already assisted thousands of customers living in low-income neighborhoods by providing no-cost energy-efficiency improvements to their homes, including energy education to provide sustainable benefits.
- Transition to a "Smart Grid"
- Providing enhancements for both residential and commercial programs that enable broader use of "Smart Grid" technology.
- Customer Education Initiatives
- By educating customers and building awareness, Progress Energy Florida ensures energy efficiency becomes self-sustaining. Among the initiatives planned to foster self-sufficiency through education:
- Energy-efficiency tradeshows for low-income customers.
- Train and involve students to conduct energy evaluations at small businesses for the Business Energy Saver initiative.
- Continue to educate customers through home and business energy evaluations and customized recommendations for energy-efficiency improvements.
Energy efficiency efforts and alternative and renewable energy technologies such as these -- when combined with state-of-the-art plants -- collectively form the balanced solution strategy Progress Energy Florida believes is necessary to best meet its customers' short- and long-term energy needs.
Progress Energy Florida submitted its plan in compliance with the Florida Public Service Commission's (PSC) requirement that each utility updated its 10-year demand-side management plan every five years. The PSC will rule on Progress Energy Florida's proposal in the coming months. Upon receiving the PSC's decision regarding its proposed energy-efficiency goals, the company will submit a detailed summary of planned programs to meet the goals. Pending PSC approval, Progress Energy Florida will implement the energy-efficiency programs beginning in 2010.
Progress Energy Florida is an industry leader in the development and implementation of programs intended to help customers save energy and money. The $1 billion in energy cost savings through these programs represents enough electricity saved by customers to power more than 900,000 homes for a year. In all, Progress Energy Florida currently offers customers 14 programs and more than 100 energy-efficiency upgrades to reduce their energy bill and carbon footprint.
For more information on Progress Energy Florida's energy-efficiency programs, visit www.savethewatts.com.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit progress-energy.com.