WEAR-TV 3: Energy Savings Makeover

Aug 24, 2009

WEAR ABC 3 :: Energy Savings Makeover

PENSACOLA – For six months we have been following a local Gulf Power customer in her quest to lower her power bill and make her home more energy-efficient.

Now, the results are in. How much difference does it make when you have consistent energy habits and the proper equipment to support them?

Channel Three’s Kathryn Daniel finds out.

Sarah Riley and Pete Bailey set a goal this past May: to lower her energy use by 40 percent. That’s when Bailey did an energy checkup. At the time, her power bill was high and her house was very inefficient, but since then, she’s had a complete energy makeover and the first month of data is in.

Pete Bailey/Gulf Power: “Mrs. Riley had a sixty three and a half percent reduction in her daily usage.”

Sixty three and a half percent cut in her daily use of power translates to a savings of 88 bucks a month for Bailey.

In August, a team of local businesses donated and installed a slew of energy-saving elements to Riley’s home: Gator Insulation put in new material in her attic over a previously uninsulated room; Majors Home Improvement put in the most efficient windows on the market, along with making her hurricane shutters; and Associated Equipment upgraded her heat and A/C unit. Will Clause of Southern Breeze One Hour Air installed it for Riley.

Pete Bailey: “The biggest driver of your energy bill is your heating and cooling costs.”

Bailey says all of the upgrades were necessary for such a reduction, and the new A/C unit is the most crucial one for savings.

Pete Bailey: “Absolutely, compared to what she had before, this system is 40 to 45 percent more efficient in terms of heating and cooling the building.”

With our current cold snap, Bailey says customers are now concerned about how to manage their heating units. He says set your thermostat at 68 degrees, and lower than that if you’re going to be out for much of the day.

Pete Bailey: “If the house is going to be unoccupied for four hours or more and you decrease the temperature three to five degrees, the amount of energy it takes to bring your temperature back to 68 is less than it would’ve took to maintain that 68-degree temperature during that four-hour time period.”

Bailey says Riley was already practicing good energy habits, and now has the efficient house to accompany them. Before the makeover, her house scored a D-minus. Now, it’s an A-plus, and a project the Gulf Power crew has enjoyed.

Pete Bailey: “It really is, it is really wonderful to see when people come together and make a difference in the community and help someone who is really in need, it was a good deal.”

Kathryn Daniel, Channel Three News.

For more energy and money saving tips, click on “Energy Savings Makeover” on our website.