BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Florida Power & Light (FPL) visited the Work Oriented Rehabilitation Center (WORC) on Jimmy Ann Road in Daytona Beach this week to help make the location more energy efficient.
WORC is a non-profit organization that specializes in helping adults with disabilities find work. It provides services for people with developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autism and other disabilities.
FPL replaced air conditioning units, changed 13 thermostats and put the facility on its on-call network, which allows FPL to switch on and off an air conditioner unit during peak periods for about 30 minutes.
“We work together in the communities that we serve to make Florida a better place for us all to work, live and play. WORC is a great asset in the community. They are a United Way partner agency. We are trying to make them more energy efficient,” said Larry Volenec, regional director of FPL.
The work was contracted out to Griffin Air Conditioning & Heating of Ormond Beach.
Energy makeover program
FPL is able to do the energy makeover through its non-profit energy makeover program. It gives businesses and organizations a free energy evaluation, then sends someone out to do an audit and put together a business analysis plan on what could be done.
The energy makeover for WORC brings the number to 23 for the power giant. FPL started doing these in 2009. This is also the third done in the Central Florida area in the past four years.
WORC has been in Daytona Beach since 1969 and today employs around 60 people.
What WORC offers
The Daytona facility serves 120 people per day. It also has 32 people in its residential program that includes two 15 bed facilities.
“We take individuals that may have a disability and provide them with the means that they need to be productive citizens. They are learning how to become a part of their community. We are teaching them and helping them assimilate into their community and become productive citizens,” said Kelly Ferguson, WORC’s president and CEO. “It’s very important to their development and to the average taxpayers and those wanting to see people strive to be independent.’’
WORC provides day training job services, residential services and adult education services. WORC also has a group home in Port Orange.
Both FPL and WORC are glad to partner up for such an endeavor.
“WORC is great to work with. We have found things to help them save money so that they can provide more services to the community,” said Volenec.
Ferguson echoed, “It’s always a privilege and honor to work with a company like FPL. We appreciate their commitment to the community and them being able to help us is a huge and very important step for our staff to learn to be more efficient and put savings towards the services we provide.”
It is estimated that the new upgrades to energy services could save WORC $2,700 per year.
“Every dollar that we save by being more energy efficient we can be more efficient by putting those funds back into play for those individuals that we serve and provide more strength to our programs and services or expand or create services and programs for the individuals we serve,” commented Kelly.
Volenec reiterated, “We have different programs that encourage people to conserve energy. It helps us avoid building more power plants and decrease load growth, especially in Florida where so many people continue to move to because of the weather, nature and other things that Florida provides.
“FPL is working on different ways to provide clean energy and renewable energy sources from what we previously used. We are installing more and more solar panels. We have installed 500,000 of a planned 1 million. Over the last 10 years, we have reduced foreign oil consumption by 98-percent.
We decommissioned fuel oil plants and put in more national gas plants which are 30 percent more efficient,’’ Volenec continued.
FPL wants to let all its customers know of ways to conserve energy and money.
“It’s important that everyone find ways to save energy rather homes, businesses or organizations. One of the biggest power users are AC units. Change filters periodically and have a contractor come look every year to make sure coils are clean and that Freon is adequate,” Volenec advised.
“When buying new appliances, look at the energy efficiency ratings located on yellow tags. You can change light bulbs and combinations of appliances, lighting and AC,” he added.
For more on WORC, visit www.worcinc.org. For more on FPL and energy saving matters, go to www.fpl.com.