UCF’s FSEC Seeks Florida Homeowners for Retrofit Study

Update: July 11, 2011 – The PNNL Website is temporarily down.  Applications are no longer being accepted from Florida.

Dear Florida Homeowner,

Are you interested in saving money on your utility bills?  Do you wish your home used less energy and was more comfortable? Have you considered investing in a major home renovation? If so, your home may qualify for a free energy assessment, incentives through your local utility company, and free technical assistance from one of the nation’s leading national laboratories.

UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is partnering with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to help homeowners achieve 30 to 50 percent energy savings through home efficiency retrofits!  If your house qualifies, your renovation will be part of a research study for PNNL that can help inform the nation about retrofit best practices. 

PNNL and FSEC are looking for homes that meet the following criteria:

  • Home was built prior to 2005 (at least 5 yrs. old)
  • Home primarily uses a central heating and cooling system (wood stoves, fireplaces, whole house fans or other unusual systems cannot be primary heating or cooling system)
  • Home is occupied year-round by the owner
  • Owners do not open windows often when the HVAC system is on
  • Owners do not have business (other than small home office) or other unusual energy intensive equipment in the home
  • Owners do not allow smoking in the home

If your home meets the preceding criteria and you are interested in saving money on your utility bills and improving the energy efficiency of your home, complete the online form at http://deepenergyretrofits.pnnl.gov/documents/informational.doc to express your interest. For more information, visit http://deepenergyretrofits.pnnl.gov or contact Karen Sutherland, ksutherland@fsec.ucf.edu or 321-638-1474.

Please note: Participation in this research project will include construction activity that may produce elevated levels of particulate matter and chemical emissions during the days such activity is conducted and for up to a few days after that.  This normally does not pose a hazard to healthy persons, but persons with acute respiratory illness, multiple chemical sensitivities, or other diseases or sensitivities may experience aggravated symptoms as a result of this activity. Homeowners are urged to consider this factor before choosing to participate in this study.

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12 Responses to “UCF’s FSEC Seeks Florida Homeowners for Retrofit Study”

  1. John C. Van Leer Says:

    I am interested in deep energy savings. I teach Sustainability at the University of Miami at both the grad and undergrad levels. I already have a solar water heater and mostly energy star appliances. My home is located in Miami-Dade County Florida. Is that a problem for your study? Call my cell at 305 215 2347 or e-mail at above.

  2. Sherri Shields Says:

    All areas in Florida are being considered. Please submit the following document for consideration: http://deepenergyretrofits.pnnl.gov/documents/informational.doc

  3. Chris Stevens Says:

    We have been living in our house for 6 years, it is was built in late 70’s. It needs new windows in part of house, doors. I wanting to put solar panels on the roof, to reduce my power bill which runs 400-500 a month.

    Thank you,

    Chris Stevens

  4. Sherri Shields Says:

    If you are investing in some major energy efficiency improvement and would like to have your house considered to participate in the study, please complete and submit the following document: http://deepenergyretrofits.pnnl.gov/documents/informational.doc

  5. Marie Pietrucha Says:

    Have solar pool and hot water heaters. Would like to add additional solar to tie into the grid. Noticed in California that they’re selling solar patio covers and would like to investigate for my Florida home. Also would like information on metal roofs with thin film solar such as the Sunlast roofing. I’m open to all suggestions for my 30 + year old 3000 sf ranch in Lake Worth, Fl. Electric bills run 125-150 in the winter and 200 – 250 in summer.



  6. Charlie Says:

    Have a small 1920’s bungalow in Orlando. New dual speed HVAC, foam insulation in attic and crawlspace. Looking to see what better sealing of windows/doors could do. Ideally, would like to go fully offgrid using PV, so need assessment of tree shading.


  7. Sherri Shields Says:

    A site assessment can be done by a local solar contractor. See this site for a list of licensed contractors: http://www.flaseia.org/Directory/contractors.htm. If you feel adventurous and want to tackle it yourself, though, here’s one book that can provide you some guidance: “Photovoltaic Systems,” second edition, by James P. Dunlop, ISBN 978-0-8269-1308-1.

  8. Rosemary Nupp Says:

    Dear Univeristy of Central Florida,

    My house does not meet the criteria because it is a ew home, built in 2010. Rosemary Nupp

  9. Tiffany I Says:

    Who pays for the equipment and installation?

  10. Sherri Shields Says:

    The homeowner pays for the equipment and installation. This program is geared toward a homeowner who is already considering investing in a major renovation. If the home qualifies, it may qualify for a free energy assessment, incentives through the local utility company, and free technical assistance from one of the nation’s leading national laboratories.

  11. Sean McCutcheon Says:

    The average home loses 15% to 25% of its cooling through leaking ducts. Have your heating and cooling ducts professionally sealed or replaced.


  12. Sean McCutcheon Says:

    Did you know that setting your air conditioner only 5% higher can save up to 20% on cooling costs? You may not want to completely turn the thermostat off when you leave the house – but if you get into the habit of turning it to at least 80 degrees you will notice a significant decrease in the amount of your electric bill.


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