Saving Money on Your Energy Bill

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Tallahassee energy experts conducted an audit of the Florida Governor's Mansion on Friday. It’s a big house. Gov. Charlie Crist wants Floridians to become more conscious of how much energy they use at home and he wants to lead by example.

Gov. Crist greeted dozens of city officials and media. Tallahassee energy representatives walked through the "people's home," identifying ways to cut back on electricity.

"We are the Sunshine State, so it occurs to me that using the sunshine in the sunshine state is just smart." he commented.

Gov. Crist hopes to put the sunshine to work, installing solar panels throughout the governor's mansion.

"Another thing we could look at is a solar domestic hot water system, which would augment the use of natural gas," said Mark Piland, an energy services representative.

From the pool house to the living quarters, representatives replaced incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones. They use fewer watts and last ten times longer.

In the governor's kitchen, auditors reviewed the thermostat. They suggest using a digital one instead of a mercury one because they're more accurate and can be programmed, but the tour won't stop here.

"I don't want to just review the mansion," Crist said. "I want to review the state and that's really where this is leading."

Gov. Crist hopes to pass legislation over the next few years, making the whole state more energy conservative.

"I want our state to look more to solar, to look more to wind, to look more to nuclear, so long as it's safe," he said. "Those are the kinds of things I think are important to the future of Florida."

If you want to follow Gov. Crist's example, Tallahassee provides free energy audit services. They'll walk through your home and find ways you can cut back. They're also giving away free fluorescent light bulbs at Tallahassee Mall Saturday from 10 to 2 p.m.