Thursday, April 3, 2008

SC's First Fuel? SC Utilities in Last Place

Below is a press release from another Southeastern electric utility, Florida Power and Light. It outlines how FPL plans to meet its customer's needs for electricity over the next ten years. Note the complete absence of coal from their plan. Also note how prominently energy efficiency is featured in their plan (it is considered FPL's "first energy resource").

Keep this in mind next time you hear certain utilities in our state claim that they can't do any thing significant with energy efficiency (or "demand-side management") -- how about nearly 2000 MW w/in ten years? FPL appears determined to climb the ranks of the best utilities when it comes to delivering energy savings to its customers.

How long will we allow Santee Cooper (and other utilities that serve our state) take up the "back of the pack" when it comes to helping us save energy and lower our bills? Click here for a incomplete ranking of utilities in terms of how much energy they save every year. Note how our guys stack up against the competition.

FPL releases strategic plan for meeting Florida's energy needs

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company filed its 10-year plan for meeting the state’s energy needs with the Florida Public Service Commission today, outlining a strategy that combines prudent additions in generating capacity with industry-leading demand-side management programs that will avoid the need to build four medium-sized power plants.

FPL, which currently serves 4.5 million customers in 35 counties, projects it will need an additional 5,600 megawatts of power, or an increase of about 25 percent, to meet rising demand through 2017. FPL expects its customer base to grow to 5.3 million by 2017, coupled with a 16 percent increase in energy use per residential customer.

“We expect a significant increase in demand for electricity over the next decade, and we will meet this demand by maximizing our proven energy efficiency programs and by providing our customers with additional energy that is safe, dependable, efficient and clean,” said FPL President Armando Olivera.

Highlights of FPL’s “Ten Year Power Plant Site Plan, 2008-2017” include:

-Upgrades to FPL’s existing nuclear plants at Turkey Point and St. Lucie to generate additional emission-free energy.

-A proposed expansion of renewable energy from a variety of sources, especially solar power.

-Construction of a clean natural gas unit at the company’s West County Energy Center in Palm Beach County.

-Potential repowerings and additional clean natural gas-fired generation to
continue to provide reliable electric service to our customers.

“The plan we have outlined will reduce the rate of carbon dioxide emissions though
energy conservation and cleaner generation, promote stability in customer bills by increasing nuclear capacity, and create the option for repowering aging plants if a third gas plant at West County is approved,” said Olivera.

In addition, FPL’s industry-leading demand-side management (DSM) programs are expected to avoid the need for 1,850 megawatts of generation, or four medium-sized natural gas plants. To date, FPL’s DSM efforts have avoided the need to build 12 power plants. “For FPL, conservation is the first energy resource used to meet customer demand,” Olivera said.

4 comments:

batticdoor said...

How To Reduce Your Energy Bills / Energy Conservation Begins at Home

Imagine leaving a window open all winter long -- the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause heat to pour out and the cold outside air to rush in -- costing you higher heating bills.

Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts.

But what can you do about the four largest “holes” in your home -- the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Attic Stairs

When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood.

Your attic space is ventilated directly to the outdoors. In the winter, the attic space can be very cold, and in the summer it can be very hot. And what is separating your conditioned house from your unconditioned attic? That thin sheet of plywood.

Often a gap can be observed around the perimeter of the door. Try this yourself: at night, turn on the attic light and shut the attic stairway door -- do you see any light coming through? These are gaps add up to a large opening where your heated/cooled air leaks out 24 hours a day. This is like leaving a window open all year round.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing the air leaks. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.

Whole House Fans and AC Returns

Much like attic stairs above, when whole house fans are installed, a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only leaky ceiling shutter between the house and the outdoors.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan cover. Installed from the attic side, the whole house fan cover is invisible. Cover the fan to reduce heating and air-conditioning loss, remove it when use of the fan is desired.

If attic access is inconvenient, or for AC returns, a ceiling shutter cover is another option for reducing heat loss through the ceiling shutter and AC return. Made from R-8, textured, thin, white flexible insulation, and installed from the house side over the ceiling shutter with Velcro, a whole house fan shutter cover is easily installed and removed.

Fireplaces

Sixty-five percent, or approximately 100 million homes, in North America are constructed with wood or gas burning fireplaces. Unfortunately there are negative side effects that the fireplace brings to a home especially during the winter home-heating season. Fireplaces are energy losers.

Researchers have studied this to determine the amount of heat loss through a fireplace, and the results are amazing. One research study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating-energy consumption by 30 percent.

A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

Why does a home with a fireplace have higher heating bills? Hot air rises. Your heated air leaks out any exit it can find, and when warm heated air is drawn out of your home, cold outside air is drawn in to make up for it. The fireplace is like a giant straw sucking the heated air from your house.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, a fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the coldest room in the house. Your clothes dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that is open to the outdoors. In the winter, cold air leaks in through the duct, through your dryer and into your house.

Dryer vents use a sheet-metal flapper to try to reduce this air leakage. This is very primitive technology that does not provide a positive seal to stop the air leakage. Compounding the problem is that over time, lint clogs the flapper valve causing it to stay open.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted air infiltration, and keep out pests, bees and rodents as well. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape.

If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan, an AC return, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, you can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover, an attic access door, and is the U.S. distributor of the fireplace draftstopper. To learn more visit www.batticdoor.com

The Anonimous Meanie said...

Thanks! Finally, something useful and helpful from this site!

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