Ask The Energy Expert: “The $24,000.00 Question?”


by Scott Ranck

There are many television shows currently featuring people buying homes in a variety of locations. Many times, it is a second or vacation home. People most often have a very specific budget available for this type of home. I watch as they look through multiple homes in the effort to find the one that will fit their budget and be just right for their family.

So why don’t they ever ask how much the utilities will cost? Homes often have electricity, water and sewer and some have natural gas or propane. These costs can be greatly reduced when energy-saving construction techniques and products have been incorporated into the building. Monthly costs can be reduced by $100 or more! If your home costs $100 per month less to operate, that amounts to $24,000 over twenty years. You could purchase a vehicle just through energy savings!


Don’t make the same mistake when buying your home or moving into an apartment. Ask if you can see what the utilities historically have cost. If your choice comes down to two places and one is an energy efficient home and one is not, your choice could be made based upon the cost to operate the home.

8576295_f520In Florida, simply through residential building code changes, a code-built home in 2000 will be approximately 30% less efficient than a code-built home after June 30, 2015. The reason is due to energy efficiency requirements in the construction of new homes. Older homes, built in the 1950s into the 1990s without energy efficiency upgrades could cost up to twice as much as a new home for utilities. Some of the requirements that are upgraded are the amount of insulation, the quality of the windows, the efficiencies of the cooling system and the efficiency of water heaters. Newer homes are built tighter and are much more economical to operate. This should be a serious consideration when purchasing a home.


For all energy related questions, contact your energy experts at Florida Public Utilities at  Banner_FPUScott Ranck is the Conservation Program Coordinator & Energy Specialist for Florida Public Utilities. Feel free to e-mail any energy-related questions or comments to Scott at

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