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Florida Businesses to Benefit from Utility’s Energy Conservation Program

electricity3A new energy-efficiency goal set by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has prompted a new energy conservation plan from Progress Energy Florida that will help provide energy efficient retrofits to Florida businesses.

Commercial programs include smart-grid metering, demand response programs to increase customers’ energy awareness, and incentives for the construction of new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)- certified commercial facilities.

The programs could cost the company’s average residential customer about $13.75 more per month — up from $3.24 per month in energy-efficiency costs — over the next 10 years, reports the Daily Sun. This cost recovery increase translates into 47 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours or 0.4 percent.

Most likely, the energy-efficiency cost increase won’t be implemented until 2011, depending on the final approval from the Florida PSC.

The utility’s parent company, Raleigh, N.C.-based Progress Energy, recently provided information about the Florida utility’s proposed energy conservation investments in its recent annual report (PDF).

Progress Energy initially proposed to increase its existing energy-efficiency goal of 447 gigawatt hours by 50 percent over ten years. However, Florida PSC wants the utility to meet a goal of 3,205 gigawatt hours or more than 700 percent over the utility’s existing goals.

To help the utility meet the new energy-efficiency goal, Progress Energy has proposed several energy-saving efforts together with the proposed price hike, called the Energy Conservation Cost Recovery (ECCR). These proposed programs are segmented into four groups: low-income customer programs, residential programs, commercial programs and renewable energy programs.

As an example, one effort — Business Energy Saver — under the low-income program is designed to help businesses in low-income areas make energy-saving improvements including upgraded attic insulation, energy-efficient lighting and water heater insulation wraps at no cost.

The Renewable Energy Program will offer both commercial and residential customers rebates up to $2 per watt of customer-installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. It also provides solar programs for schools and solar water heating for low-income families.

Last year, Progress Energy in partnership with Advanced Energy and Duke Energy began their smart charging trial of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Click here for more information about the utility’s energy-efficiency programs.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOE) released several technical documents last October that shows building owners in four key commercial building sectors how to achieve a 50-percent energy savings.

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