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Florida State Seal State of Florida
Public Service Commission


05/08/2007 Contact: 850-413-6482


TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved modifications to existing advanced geothermal system conservation programs offered by Gulf Power Company (Gulf) aimed at reducing energy demand and increasing customer participation in the programs.

These initiatives are expected to reduce the growth rate of weather-sensitive peak demand, reduce and control the growth rate of energy consumption, and increase conservation of expensive fossil fuel resources. The changes will benefit all of Gulf’s customers, not just those participating in the modified programs.

“I can not overstate the importance of conservation and energy efficiency for consumers and for Florida’s economy,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar.  “By making energy-efficient choices, consumers can reduce energy consumption, reduce costs, and strengthen Florida’s energy security for years to come.”

Business and residential customers who install energy-efficient geothermal heat pumps (GHP) will receive an increased incentive payment. GHPs use the temperature of the earth as the heat exchange medium instead of air. Since the earth remains at a relatively constant temperature, the ground is both warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the surrounding air. GHP technology takes advantage of this temperature difference by exchanging heat with the earth through a series of pipes buried underground.

Gulf serves approximately 394,772 retail customers between the Alabama border and the Apalachicola River. In all, Gulf Power serves customers in 71 cities and communities in Florida.

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.

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