Statewide energy equity study could pave the way for relief from high energy costs

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Aging homes leave residents like Cynthia Harris with their share of problems.

“If your breaker box is out of date and you are absorbing a whole bunch of energy, your appliances are going to go bad because one’s going to give,” Harris said.

That’s resulting in high utility costs that disproportionately impact residents in communities of color.

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According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, low-income Black and Hispanic families face an energy burden three times higher than other consumers. It’s driven by increased utility costs from energy inefficient appliances, insulation and weatherization.

Now, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Florida’s first ever statewide energy equity study to help develop equitable energy solutions for Floridians looking for relief from high energy costs.

According to Fried, data shows that 5% of Floridians spend more than 50% of income on housing costs including utilities, and energy-efficient upgrades can reduce the burden by 25%.

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OUC provides up to $2,500 for energy and water efficiency upgrades in residential homes, as well as 16 rebates tailored for residential and commercial customers designed to help them save.

Click here for more information.

Karen Parks

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.