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Thursday, November 5, 2009

IFAS Statewide Energy Efficiency Campaign for Homeowners

As more consumers struggle with record-breaking energy costs and rapid urban growth puts a strain on Florida’s natural resources, the University of Florida’s Extension service's public awareness campaign promotes the effective use of energy and discourages all forms of energy waste. UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) initiated the statewide campaign aimed at the state’s current and future residents.

"Everyone is concerned about soaring energy costs and water conservation, but the problem is more challenging here in Florida because our population continues to increase by more than eight hundred residents every day," said Pierce Jones, director of UF’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities. "That kind of growth--along with the needs of our existing population for energy and water--is taking a tremendous toll on the state’s natural resources."

Publications are available online with tips on topics such as air conditioning, ceiling fans, lighting, insulation, water heaters, irrigation, climate change, and reducing the "carbon footprint". For more information about energy efficiency, conservation, and sustainability, please visit the Sustainable Living section of Solutions For Your Life.

Jones said many residents come from states with different climates and ecosystems, and they may not be aware of Florida’s fragile environment.

"Much of the damage to the state’s natural resources is due to a simple lack of awareness about our ecosystems and how homes interact with the environment," he said. "There are many ways that people can save energy and water in their homes and landscapes, which will help not only the state’s natural resources, but their own economic situations as well."

After years as the nation’s fourth-largest state, Florida is poised to become the nation’s third largest state--after California and Texas--sometime in the next few years, underscoring the urgent need for energy and water conservation now, he said.

Original article courtesy of UF IFAS.