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10/03/2009 ~ With the onset of Public Power Week, Keys Energy Services (KEYS) and the members of the Florida Municipal Electric Association – Florida’s 34 public power utilities – join more than 2,000 public power utilities from across the nation to explain the importance of public power contributions to local citizens. Public Power Week, now in its 23rd year, begins October 4th, and Florida’s municipal utilities are using this time to remind citizens of the importance of energy conservation.

“Over the last couple of years, rising fuel costs and concerns over environmental impacts have placed more importance than ever on energy conservation,” said Barry Moline, FMEA’s executive director. “Public Power Week is a celebration of the municipal electric providers who are dedicated to helping meet those demands by providing affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity.”

While municipal utilities take this week to celebrate the strength of the state’s public power, they are also focused on promoting green energy initiatives that include not just renewable sources of energy, but also energy efficiency and conservation. “Our member utilities are deeply concerned about controlling customers’ costs,” said Moline. “While our state leaders are looking at controlling greenhouse emissions, we want to let customers know that implementing efficiency and conservation measures at their homes and businesses will go a long way in helping the state to achieve its goals and will also lower energy costs.”

Public power has played an important role in Florida’s electric industry for more than 115 years. Beginning with the onset of World War II in the 1940s, an environment of fuel rationing made it critical for these separate utilities to band together to share energy resources in efforts to better ensure reliability and cost effectiveness.

This need spurred the formation of the Florida Municipal Utilities Association, which became the Florida Municipal Electric Association in 1988. Today, FMEA represents the interests of 34 public power communities across the state. Ranging in size from Jacksonville to Clewiston and spanning the state from Key West to Chattahoochee, the state’s public power utilities serve a combined customer base of nearly 3 million Floridians, or 14 percent of the state’s electric market. FMEA members collectively provide the state’s third largest source of electricity.

Tips for Saving Energy

- Adjust thermostat settings for air conditioning to 78 F degrees or higher, if health permits. When you’re not going to be home for an extended period, raise the thermostat setting to 82 F degrees or higher.

- Close curtains and blinds to help insulate homes and buildings against cooling loss.

- Avoid using room air conditioners; turn them off when you leave the room or home.

- Reduce use of all non-essential electric appliances. Run your dishwasher and wash and dry your laundry later in the evening.

- Turn off all non-essential lighting and electric appliances, such as pool pumps.

- Turn off lights when you leave a room or when they aren’t needed.

- Leave refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

- Cook outdoors, use a microwave oven or small appliances like a toaster oven or electric skillet to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.

KEYS customers are urged to log on to and click on the “Growing Greener Every Day” icon for more tips on how they can conserve energy to further help the environment and keep some money in their wallet.

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