FSEC Director Testifies Before Florida Senate Committee on Communications and Public Utilities

Tallahassee, Florida, January 10, 2006: The state of Florida can save almost 25 trillion kilowatt hours of its projected 2014 energy use with consumer savings of $450 million by increasing the use of home energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, both of which are eligible for new federal tax credits.

That’s the message from Dr. James Fenton, Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), in a presentation he gave before the state’s Senate Committee on Communications and Public Utilities on January 10.

In making a case for increasing the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy as means of achieving energy independence in Florida’s future, Dr. Fenton illustrated how the state could reduce Florida’s current projected requirement for 75 trillion additional kilowatt-hours of energy use by 2014 by more than 25 percent. With approximately $187 million in state incentives, Florida should be able to attract an equal amount of federal tax credits for builders and homeowners while saving more than 4 trillion kilowatt hours and $450 million in consumer electrical costs each year.

The FSEC study also showed significant additional benefits to the state of 126,000 new jobs, avoidance of almost 1,700 megawatts of new power generation plants, the production of $420 million dollars in tradable renewable energy credits for the state and a savings of more than 26 million tons of atmospheric CO2 release. The state would also avoid fuel purchases from outside the state of more than $1.2 billion, keeping Florida’s hard earned capital within the state to generate economic activity and jobs growth.

Dr. Fenton’s complete Power Point presentation, “Taking Charge of Our Energy Future: Choosing the Better Pie,” can be downloaded from http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/energynews/2006/2006-02-energyuse2014.htm.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/ or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.