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    Understanding How Natural Gas Vehicles Work

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Today, alternatively fueled vehicles emit less pollution and save drivers money on fuel costs. Natural gas vehicles use clean-burning natural gas rather than gasoline to power the engine. These vehicles offer a cost-effective and fuel-efficient alternative to a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle for both families and businesses.

    Natural Gas vs. Gasoline

    Gasoline is derived from crude oil, which is comprised of the remains of prehistoric microorganisms. These remains have been heated and compressed for millions of years, turning them into a liquid. Natural gas is produced via a similar chemical reaction, but rather than turning to liquid, it remains as a gas because of its simpler molecular makeup. Both natural gas and gasoline can be used to power combustion engines. However, because of its different chemical makeup, natural gas burns much cleaner, without producing the greenhouse gases that are secondary to gasoline combustion.

    Natural Gas Vehicle Construction

    Natural gas vehicles are similar in construction to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. However, modifications are made to the vehicle’s fuel tank and engine. When the vehicle is refueled, compressed natural gas is pumped into a set of lightweight cylinders called Integrated Storage Systems, or ISSs. The ISSs are designed to protect the fuel in case of a crash and prevent fire or explosion. Today, ISSs are the same size and shape as a typical gasoline tank. The engine of a natural-gas vehicle is altered to allow for the combustion of natural gas rather than gasoline, incorporating aluminum pistons, nickel-tungsten exhaust valves, and a catalytic converter specific to methane. Natural gas enters the fuel injection system via a fuel line from the ISSs, and is then injected into the engine for combustion.

    Natural gas is a clean-burning, energy efficient fuel alternative to gasoline. If you’d like to learn more about natural gas vehicles, contact Florida Public Utilities Company by calling (561) 832-0872. We have the information you need to reduce your environmental impact today. Check us out on the Web to learn more about natural gas, propane, and electricity in Florida.

    What Is Compressed Natural Gas?

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Compressed natural gas, also called CNG, is a greener alternative to gasoline. The natural gas is compressed using pressure and used to fuel your car—but where does it come from?

    This video explains how natural gas is made over the course of millions of years. You will see how it is harvested right here in the United States and used to create energy in power plants, factories, homes, and vehicles. It costs less than gasoline and burns clean, meaning fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier environment.

    If you’d like to learn more about compressed natural gas and other forms of clean energy, contact  Florida Public Utilities Company today by calling (561) 832-0872. We have the answers about energy you need to make the right decision, and we also offer free energy checkups. Click through our website to learn more about us.

    Preparing Your Home for Summer Weather in Florida

    Last updated 9 months ago

    As temperatures in Florida rise, there are a few simple steps you can take to prepare your home for lower energy usage during this warm season. By addressing areas that typically consume the most energy to cool your home, you can enjoy significant savings and indoor comfort. Additionally, your energy provider can help by providing an energy check-up of your home to highlight areas that could use the most work.

    Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced

    An energy efficient air conditioner will keep your home cool and your energy bills low. Have your air conditioner serviced at least once a year to ensure it is clean and functioning properly, even if you haven’t experienced problems. Additionally, if your air conditioner is extremely loud while running or you don’t seem to be getting cool air, call in a pro to take a look.

    Seal Windows and Doors

    Windows and doors can easily develop leaks that let hot air in—and cool air out. This means your air conditioner must work harder and longer to cool your home, using more energy in the process. Check the seals around your doors and windows, and re-caulk them if you find any damage or wear.

    Install Fans and Curtains

    Ceiling fans and curtains are extremely energy efficient ways of keeping your home cool during hot summer days. Keep curtains pulled in rooms that receive direct sunlight, especially when you’re away from home. This will allow you to return to a cooler house without keeping the air conditioner running all day. Check that your fans are turning counterclockwise to deliver cool air to rooms. A ceiling fan can lower the temperature by up to eight degrees using far less energy than your air conditioner.

    Schedule your free home energy check-up with the Florida Public Utilities Company today by calling (561) 832-0872. We can help you pinpoint the areas of your home that are costing you energy and money for significant savings this summer. We invite you to click through our website for more information about energy usage in your Florida home.

    Introduction To HERS® Scores

    Last updated 9 months ago

    The HERS Score (Home Energy Rating System) is a diagnostic tool that shows how much energy a home is designed to use. The HERS Score is a national standard and is used by many programs including the ENERGY STAR® Certification Process. The score is determined by comparing your “As built” home to a geometric clone that uses the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. A score of 100 means your home is equal to the code home for potential energy use. Each number either lower or higher represents a 1% efficiency variation with the lower score being better.

    Many older homes on the market may score a 150 showing a high energy use. A brand new ENERGY STAR Certified home will have a score in the 60-65 range. This is a major consideration when deciding whether to buy an older home or have a new home built. A home built to the Florida Energy Code today would have a score of approximately 78-82 which will mean a home that is 25-50% more efficient than the older home.

    Those numbers represent dollars on your monthly utility costs. When buying a home it is critical to consider the total cost of ownership. You have a mortgage, taxes, insurance AND monthly energy costs. Building an energy efficient home can reduce your monthly costs $50-100 or more a month. The cost of building a high performance home may add $20-30 to your mortgage payment but a smart buyer would trade a $30 a month increase to the mortgage to gain $80 savings a month in utility costs!

    Including high efficiency natural gas products to a new home can lower your HERS Score considerably. A natural gas tankless water heater will lower the HERS Score 6-7 points! 

    You can learn more at www.resnet.us or www.fpuc.com or www.fpuc.com/energyexpert.

     

    Energy Saving Tips for Your Home in the Summer

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Long summer days bring warm weather for Florida, but you don’t need to worry about a spike in your home’s energy consumption just to keep cool. There are a number of ways to keep the indoor temperature and your energy bill low this summer. Contact your energy provider if you have questions about your home’s energy usage and how to lower it even further.

    Replace Older Appliances

    Older appliances are less efficient and create large energy sinks that cost you money. Consider replacing old or outdated appliances with newer or greener versions. A poorly-functioning air conditioner or one that is not suited to your space requires more energy than an efficient model. Tankless water heaters can save you money on your water and energy bills. Purchasing appliances that run on natural gas can also significantly cut both your energy costs and your environmental footprint. Talk to your energy provider about rebates and financial incentives to help offset to the cost of upgrading or replacing your appliances.

    Update Your Thermostat

    If you don’t have a digital thermostat, consider installing one. Digital thermostats are more accurate and can be programmed to keep your home cooler when you need it and warmer when you don’t. Set the thermostat to 78 while you’re home and 82 while you’re away. Daily or weekly program options allow you to pre-set your preferences so you can’t forget.

    Utilize Drapes

    Keep the temperatures inside your Florida home cooler by installing and closing drapes or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight. This will not only maintain cooler temperatures inside and reduce the energy requirements on your air conditioner, it will also protect your belongings from heat and sun damage.

    At Florida Public Utilities Company, our energy experts are her to help you enjoy savings and stay cool this summer. Call (561) 832-0872 to ask how you can reduce your energy usage and your bills during warm weather. You can learn more about natural gas appliances, ENERGY STAR ratings, and how to minimize electricity usage by clicking through our blog.

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