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Declare your independence from high energy usage

Tips to help you cut energy consumption this July 4th and all summer long

ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. (June 28, 2012) - Every July 4th, Americans celebrate their independence. Progress Energy encourages customers to practice energy-efficient measures to declare their independence from high energy usage this summer, save money and reduce waste all year.

Independence Day brings to mind countless festivities - from parades and fireworks to backyard barbeques and picnics. When planning your picnic or party, consider grilling out rather than using your oven or your broiler to prepare your meal. In doing so, you won't heat up the kitchen on a hot summer afternoon, forcing your air conditioning to work harder and leading to higher energy use.

During the summer months, set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. Progress Energy recommends a 78 to 80 degrees setting. You can save 7 to 10 percent on your cooling costs for each degree above 78. Also, be sure to use your window shades, blinds and drapes to keep the sun from overheating your home.

Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to supplement your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler (and only costs a half-cent per hour to operate) so you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher and save on cooling costs. Be sure you only use fans in occupied rooms since fans cool people, not rooms. Additionally, turn off ceiling fans when you leave your home.

For central air conditioning systems, keep the fan switch on your thermostat in the "auto" position when cooling. This gives you better cooling and humidity control. Having the fan switch "on" continuously could add an extra $25 a month onto your electric bill.

Apple pie is about as American as you can get so if you absolutely must make use of your oven to bake your homemade pie, at least refrain from opening the oven door. Every time you open the oven door to check on your pie, the temperature drops 25-30 degrees, wasting energy. And while preheating is a must for baking pastries or breads, it is often unnecessary for other foods, so be sure to keep your preheating time to a minimum. Microwave ovens draw less than one-half the power of a conventional oven and foods cook in about one-fourth the time, greatly reducing cooking costs.

Remember that a fully stocked refrigerator retains cold better than an empty one because the mass of cold items helps the fridge to recover after the door has been opened.  One simple way to reduce the opening and closing of the refrigerator during your July 4th barbeque is to keep cold drinks in coolers or ice chests.

"By practicing these energy-saving tips, you can help to declare your own freedom to cut energy usage and reduce waste all year long," said Malcolm Barnes, energy efficiency manager for Progress Energy Florida. "There are many ways that our customers can conserve power and save money during summer months. Being aware of energy-efficiency can be very cost effective."

To find an ally in your quest for energy savings, contact Progress Energy Florida for a no-hassle, no-cost Home Energy Check. Through this Progress Energy service - which can be performed online, over the phone or in person - a highly-trained Energy Advisor will provide customized, energy-saving advice and determine your eligibility for company rebates toward energy-efficient home improvements.

A Home Energy Check is a prerequisite to all Progress Energy rebates for energy-efficient home improvements. To sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Check or to learn more than 100 energy-saving tips, visit or call 1.877.364.9003.

Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit

Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line (866) 520-6397

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