New Report Showcases Urgency for Action to Address Energy Affordability in Florida

Roadmap identified for cost-effective measures and savings at this critical juncture

October 3, 2023
Elaine Labalme, (412) 996-4112,
Dawn Shirreffs, (321) 695-1223,

ST. PETERSBURG, October 4, 2023 – Florida is at an inflection point in energy affordability and a comprehensive report released today by partner organization Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) sheds light on the urgent need for action. Despite comparatively low electric utility rates and fixed fees, energy costs have been steadily rising in recent years, straining the finances of more than two million low- and moderate-income Floridians. Inefficient housing and outdated systems are pervasive, forcing residents to spend more money while experiencing discomfort and safety concerns – but opportunities exist for significant savings with energy efficiency.

Sudden spikes in utility bills due to natural gas volatility and extreme weather events leave little room for financial flexibility and home improvements that could lead to long-term cost savings relative to Florida’s lower than average incomes. These challenges have created significant affordability issues for millions of Floridians, particularly those in rural communities which will be exacerbated by predicted increases in extreme heat unless preventative measures are taken.

The study provides a roadmap for cost-effective measures to enhance affordability for Florida residents and opportunities for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Energy to deploy $1 billion in energy savings.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Rising Energy Costs: Reduced demand of 12.1% will avoid unnecessary and costly new generation capacity and mitigate risks from volatile natural gas markets and extreme heat.
  • Energy Efficiency Benefits: Implementing energy efficiency measures could provide a reduction of over 50% in typical monthly residential bills through heat pumps and attic insulation alone. 
  • Financing Opportunities:  A variety of programs facilitated by the State of Florida can leverage financial resources to advance energy efficiency initiatives including Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP).

“In the face of rising energy costs and increasing financial strain on millions of Floridians, we stand at a critical juncture in our pursuit of energy affordability,” said Dawn Shirreffs, Florida Director, Environmental Defense Fund. “As we navigate the challenges of volatile energy markets and extreme weather, let us remember that a more efficient future is not just possible, it's essential. Together, we can empower Florida residents to enjoy lower bills and a sustainable future.”

EDF and SEEA call upon policymakers, community leaders, and stakeholders to heed the report's recommendations and take action to improve energy affordability for Floridians.

To access the full report and its detailed findings, please click HERE.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund