SAVING/CONSERVING ON UTILITY BILLS DURING THIS CRISIS
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WE NEED YOUR HELP TO PROTECT THE WATER SYSTEM  
Saving and Conserving
During This Pandemic

If you are like me, you are not looking forward to receiving ANY bills, no less your electric and utility bills. Being home, I know my bills are going to be much higher. 

For so many, being home has meant children and others adding to the household demand when they would normally be at work or at school.  A long shower is sometimes a respite for us; for teenagers, seems impossible to get them out on a good day. Now, it has a real impact.
 
We are now in the dry season and conserving is so important. Water demands have increased 20 to 25% above normal demands due to this lack of rainfall, and as much as 30 to 50% of these demands may be for irrigation, depending on the customer.

Some steps we can take:
Watering:  There is a twice-per-week watering restriction in place and we all should only run our irrigation systems before 10AM or after 4PM (Odd addresses on Wednesday and Saturday/Even addresses on Thursday and Sunday) to reduce evaporation and transpiration losses so plants and ground cover get the most benefit from this water. However, many of us may have sprinkler timers set for watering more than 2 days per week, and for longer periods in each watering zone. We should use one pin per zone and limit the amount of over-watering

Disconnect our hoses from our spigots and make sure these valves are off unless we are using them, and with all fixtures off check our meters to ensure we don’t have any plumbing leaks, and repair them if we do so we do our best to keep our bills as low as we can.

Typically leaks are found in toilets, in solenoid valves or at our outside spigots where we may have forgotten to turn something off.

If you notice water running or irrigation outside of the hours required within the restrictions in the Sunrise Water Service Areas, please report this to our Code Enforcement Division at 954-572-2344 or Code@sunrisefl.gov
 
WHY NOT JUST WAIVE ALL SUNRISE UTILITY BILLS DURING THIS CRISIS
 
I am asked frequently why we do not just waive all bills? 
 
Believe me, we understand the pain that so many are going through. Many are worried that they may never recover.
 
For businesses, the CARES act provides the opportunity for a business to obtain a grant -- not a loan -- for all overhead and employee expenses for 60 days.  This requires a loan through a participating bank and if the funds are utilized to pay employees and overhead, the grant is forgiven 100%. 




For residents and businesses, why don’t we just stop billing and give away the necessary service for free during this crisis?  Don’t we understand the challenges the community is facing?
 
Believe me, the entire City Commission and our staff understand and empathize.  We KNOW the challenges for so many.
 
But, the answer is a complex legal problem for us. Like all utility systems, the system is financed for improvements and necessary maintenance through the issuing of Bonds -- which are paid back through the utility payments. Your payments pay the debt service. 
 
The Bond Documents prohibit the City from establishing system wide forgiveness programs -- if we do, the bondholders could "call" the bonds immediately and result in us having to potentially bankrupt the utility system. Of course, every year we have people who fall on hard times and we will work to keep service on because we know the importance. 
 
In this COVID crisis, we are VERY aware of the financial impact for many.  Not just because of the so many being out of work, but even for those blessed to be able to work from home, the increased utilization. 
 
We are encouraging those who can pay, to pay timely if possible as we need to keep the system operational.
 
I have personally signed a letter to the Federal Government, along with hundreds of mayors from across the United States, pointing out that our city governments need financial relief to keep our systems operational uninterrupted.
 
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PAY YOUR BILL ON TIME BECAUSE OF COVID-19, PLEASE CALL OUR COMPASSION CENTER.

We will take your information and help you
to connect with the utility staff to work directly with you
and to protect your service. 

Our Compassion Center is open
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(954) 746-3670.
Or, as always, email me anytime at mryan@sunrisefl.gov

FPL:
FPL is providing payment extensions as well and waiving certain late payment fees for customers in a hardship situation – policies that will remain in effect while Florida is under a state of emergency.
 
Customers are encouraged to pay their electric bill balance each month to avoid building up a large balance, which they will continue to bear responsibility for. However, if you are having difficulty paying your monthly bill FP&L encourages you to view available resources below or contact them directly at 1-800-226-3545. FP&L says it will work with your personal situation and come up with a solution to ensure that you can fulfill your personal responsibility for your FPL balance.



Top Energy Saving Tips
 
Here are some of the quickest and most effective ways to help you conserve energy, trim costs, and gain control over the energy usage in your home. You should post these tips in your home so that everyone can join in and save!
1.   Limit the time you run your pool pump:
Summer - six hours a day
Winter - four hours a day
2.   Cool your home at 78° F or higher with the thermostat fan switched to auto. For additional savings, raise your thermostat to 82° F or higher when you’re away.
3.   Lower the temperature on your water heater. The average household spends about $15-20 per month to heat water. Lowering the temperature by 10° could save from 3 to 5% of your energy costs.
4.   Clean or replace the A/C filter regularly to help your unit run more efficiently and trim cooling costs.
5.   Turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 a month.
6.   Replace old, high-flow showerheads with water-efficient showerheads and save up to $80* a year.
7.   Adjust the water level on your washing machine to match the load size, and use a cold rinse whenever possible.
8.   Clean the lint filter in your dryer before every load to dry your clothes faster.
9.   Use the auto sensor function on your dryer to conserve energy by not over-drying your clothes.

*Annual savings calculated based on two people in the home using water-efficient showerheads.

Take the Showerhead Test
Here's an easy way to determine if your showerhead is water efficient. Take the showerhead test.
1.   Get a bucket and a watch/clock that counts seconds.
2.   Place the bucket underneath the showerhead.
3.   Turn the shower on all the way using cold water.
4.   Time how long it takes for one gallon of water to fall into the bucket.

Check Your Timing If it takes:
  • Less than 24 seconds to fill a gallon of water, then you do not have the most efficient showerhead because its flow exceeds the recommended 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • More than 24 seconds to fill a gallon of water, then you have an efficient showerhead.

PROTECT THE WATER SYSTEM: 
FLUSH ONLY THE RIGHT STUFF

We need your help.  
Some of you have been forwarding my messages to other residents.
 
Thank You!
 
The link below will allow them to sign up for 
10770 West Oakland Park Blvd.
Sunrise, FL. 33351
Phone: (954) 746-3250
Email address: mryan@sunrisefl.gov