Energy-efficient homes in Florida more attainable following legislation

With a nickname like "The Sunshine State," most individuals would assume that Florida lawmakers had already passed bills in support of comprehensive energy use reform, including an increased reliance on solar power and other forms of energy. Perhaps surprisingly, a bill in support of home energy efficiency did not become a reality until this week.

The Florida House of Representatives expressed near-unanimous support for a bill that would enhance energy efficiency throughout the state. House Bill 7117 institutes tax credits for homeowners who use renewable energy sources and simplify the process by which municipalities institute renewable energy.

Assuming the bill passes the state senate, Florida homeowners could be far more likely to install energy-efficient heating and insulation that eventually lead to lower energy costs.

"This legislation supports responsible renewable-energy technologies and provides a pathway for job creation and is a huge step in the right direction in providing power generation for future Floridians," the bill's sponsor, Representative Scott Plakon, told local blog Sunshine State News. "I am grateful for the support this bill has received from Republicans and Democrats as well as the dedicated efforts of Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putman."

Florida residents use more electricity per capita than most of their counterparts in other states, primarily because of their reliance on air conditioning to keep homes cool during long, humid summers, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Florida homeowners and heads-of-household across the country should consider hiring a home inspection service to conduct an energy audit that will help them better understand how energy upgrades can slash utility bills and lead to a green lifestyle in general. If homeowners live a state that rewards energy upgrades, the decision to ensure home energy efficiency should be even more simple.