Retrofit Florida: Create Jobs and Save Money on Electricity
What will happen to Florida if we do not pass an Energy Policy this year? What will be the cost of our monthly electric bills if we do nothing? Will we save money and create jobs if we do nothing?
Can we invest in our Energy Future without raising taxes? Let’s look to our homes to create New Clean Green Jobs for Florida so we can create economic growth, which increases the state’s revenues. Let’s renovate our homes cost-effectively, thereby saving money on our monthly electric bills. Let’s not ship money out of state for purchase of coal and natural gas to make electricity. Let’s put people to work and use some of the energy savings to put solar energy on our roofs.
Fifty-one percent of the electricity that utilities produce are used in our residences, “we the citizens” consume electricity so, “we” need to use energy efficiently.
This plot shows the average annual household electricity use in MWh/yr historically, along with the October 2009 Florida Public Service Commission 10-Year Forecast.
The actual energy use per household showed an increase from 1993 until the peak electricity use per household of 2003 (14.6 MWh/yr).
The 2009 forecast, predicted in 2008, shows a decrease of 2.1% in average annual household electricity use over the ten year forecast.
Clearly, if “we” use less electricity, it is good for the environment and it requires Florida to import less fossil fuels like natural gas and coal into Florida, but does it mean “we” pay less per month for electricity?
No, we will pay more and this plot shows why.
This plot of the average monthly household electricity cost over time shows the historical costs and the 10-year forecasted costs. The 2009 forecast shows a decrease in electricity consumption of 2.1% over the ten-year period of 2009 to 2018, but electricity cost is increasing at 4.7% per year, so the electric cost of ~$148 per month of today turns into $210 per month by 2018.
This means that the cost of having no new energy policy and doing business as usual will cost the citizens of Florida at least $62 per month in 2018, there will be no new job creation and we will continue to purchase more fossil fuels and export our money out of the state.
Does it have to be this way? No, we must pass an Energy Policy that provides incentives and loans to retrofit our homes to make them more energy efficient.
We can actually pay less for electricity each month than we do now, and use the savings to purchase the efficiency improvements and provide rebates for putting solar energy on our roofs.
If we cost effectively retrofit our homes with eight energy efficiency measures and solar hot water heating, instead of paying $82 more each month in 2020, we will save $46 each month over today’s cost. The cost of doing nothing compared to the cost of an energy policy that encourages energy efficiency and solar energy on your rooftop is more than $128 month or $1,536 per year, per household.
The eight energy efficiency measures and solar water heating provides energy savings of 56% ($128 per month per household).
The savings measure in the order of most economical (lowest cost to benefit ratio) are:
|Key||Efficiency Measure||Specification||Cost to Benefit Ratio|
|Programmable Thermostat||2 degrees set up/back||0.22|
|Attic Duct Leakage||10% → 3%||0.31|
|Fluorescent Lighting||10% → 75%||0.32|
|Upgrade Ceiling Insulation||R18 → R38||0.35|
|Windows||U-0.75 → 0.39 /SHGC-0.65 → 0.28||0.71|
|Exterior Block Wall Insulation||R-1 → R-10||0.75|
|Air Conditioner||SEER 9.25 → SEER 17 to 21||0.95|
|Solar Hot Water||40 ft2, 80 gallon, PV-pumped||0.97|
We can do something. We should chose to retrofit our homes cost-effectively to make them more energy efficient. We will then pay less for electricity each month than we do now and use the savings to purchase the efficiency improvements and provide rebates for putting solar energy on our roofs.
Retrofitting 3% of the homes per year will generate $1,536 in energy savings per home — a total of $285 million in total cost savings for the 186,000 retrofitted homes, while saving 1.05 million tons of CO2. Each year we will generate $3.8 billion in new economic activity, 42,026 direct jobs and 15,282 indirect jobs.
If Florida invests in our homes, people go back to work, property values increase, and we save money every month!