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The SmartWatts Program

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The City of Fort Lauderdale established the Smart Watts community program to educate neighbors on the importance of energy reduction as a means to reducing overall emissions and saving money on electricity bills.

The City provided an opportunity for our community to learn about energy savings and receive an energy efficient toolkit with a retail value of $100 to begin easy retrofits of their homes. Through 78 public workshops, more than 1,700 neighbors learned about tips for making their homes and businesses more energy-efficient. Smart Watts also awarded $1,000 rebates for energy-efficient home improvements. More than $236,400 was given in rebates for inefficient air conditioners, doors, windows, and other items that were replaced with energy-efficient models – which had a nice side benefit of increasing local trade and construction work when it was still badly needed!  A final elements of the program, the Smart Watts Home Energy Retrofit Loan Program, provided low‐interest loans for homeowners in Fort Lauderdale who wanted to make “whole house” energy retrofits that cost from $2,500 to $10,000 dollars. 

Our City became an Energy Star Pledge Driver and secured 646 pledge participants at the Smarts Watts workshops, strengthening our community’s commitment to reducing energy consumption.of energy reduction as a means to reducing overall emissions and saving money on electricity bills. 

Smart Watts was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program using funds allocated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

As of June 30, 2012, the program is closed and is no longer accepting new applications.

However, educational materials have been incorporated into this website. Here are some useful tips from a Smart Watts Home Energy Saver Workshop for no to low cost actions you can take right now:

10 Smart Watts Quick Tips

  1. Use energy efficient light bulbs.  LEDs consume up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and are non-toxic. CFLs contain mercury, a toxic substance, and require proper disposal.

  2. Control the A/C: Program it, set fan to “auto,” turn it up (78 degrees home/82 degrees away), change filter and maintain unit.  This saves between 10-30 percent on A/C’s general consumption.  Turn on the ceiling fan.  Air circulation keeps us comfortable.  Turn off fan when leaving a room.

  3. Weatherize your home: seal leaks and insulate.  Indoor-outdoor air exchange consumes energy; reducing air leaks can save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs.

  4. Use energy efficient electronics and appliances.  Choose Energy Star qualified products when purchasing new items.

  5. Manage power.  Use sleep mode on computer and monitor.  Plug into power strips and switch off when not in use, or unplug to save up to 15 percent from “vampire” energy loss.

  6. Save water: lower hot water temperature; wash efficiently.  Set hot water temperature from 140 to 120 degrees and save up to $7 a month; use low-flow shower heads and take shorter showers; avoid pre-rinsing dishes; wash only full loads and use cold water when possible.

  7. Manage and maintain appliances.  Adjust temperatures to recommend settings for fridge (38-42 degrees) and freezer (0-10 degrees).  Clean refrigerator coils; when possible, cook with toaster oven rather than oven; clean dryer filter prior to each use.

  8. Do a free home energy survey.  FPL will come to your home and walk you through the process for free or do it yourself online.

  9. Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and use renewable energy.  Buy less and reduce waste.  Find new uses for old things.  Recycle all paper, glass, cans and plastics.  Purchase objects made with post-consumer recycled content.  Choose solar and wind energy when possible.

  10. Be energy savvy!  Take the Energy Star savings pledge.  A commitment to reducing energy and water usage can save you hundreds of dollars per year!

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