Big Dog Ranch Rescue received a free energy makeover Tuesday, April 9, sponsored by Florida Power & Light. As a result, they will save at least $2,000 off their annual energy costs.
Big Dog Ranch Rescue is a no-kill dog rescue located on a 28-acre site near the intersection of State Road 7 and Southern Blvd. It provides shelter and homes for abandoned and homeless dogs of all breeds.
The facility’s electricity bill, in excess of $3,000 a month, was a strain on Big Dog’s finances, said President Lauree Simmons. “Being a nonprofit, that’s a lot for us,” she said.
The rescue sought out assistance from FPL, which agreed to send an energy-saving specialist to do an analysis of what could be done to lower the electric bill. “When they came in and did their analysis, they offered to give us an energy makeover, which is incredible for us,” Simmons said.
FPL contractors Gator Electric & Communications, Optimum Comfort Cooling and Trane donated their time and resources to get the rescue facility up-to-date with the most energy-efficient electrical equipment.
“They replaced our 15-ton AC unit, because it was our least-efficient cooling unit, with a brand new Trane one,” Simmons said. “This was all at no cost to us because Trane donated it.”
Optimum Comfort Cooling did all the duct work and repair of the air-conditioning units.
Gator Electric & Communications replaced every light bulb and fixture in the facility with more energy-efficient and cooler ones, which will also reduce the monthly electric bill. “Overall, we should be saving about 15 to 20 percent annually on our FPL bill each month, which will give us more money to save more lives,” Simmons said.
Witnessing how much the community cares for the rescue facility is a great feeling, Simmons said. “It’s a wonderful thing that the community, FPL and their contractors are partnering with us to save lives,” she said. “That means that they care about their community and these orphan dogs that need homes.”
FPL does energy makeovers four times a year, spokeswoman Emily Pantelides said. “We do this because we want to educate people,” she said. “That’s part of the reason why these contractors are involved, because when people are more energy-efficient, it helps lower their bills.”
Many of the contractors are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, she said. “They want to help save lives,” Pantelides said. “The more they save on their electric bill, the more money they have for medications and things like that.”
For Gator Electric & Communications CEO Bruce Riley, it’s all about giving back. “We believe in giving back to the community we serve,” he said. “We do give to more organizations than Big Dog Ranch Rescue, but we love dogs and we have dogs, so it’s only natural for us to help them out, too.”
Riley provided four workers to spend the entire day working on getting all the electrical fixtures updated. “It’s about 40 man-hours’ worth of work,” he said.
FPL provided Big Dog Ranch Rescue with the means to assist more dogs. “We will be able to save more dogs that are on their last days in shelters,” Simmons said. “Every dollar counts here.”
The extra money will be put toward its mission of saving abused and abandoned dogs. “We are really so appreciative that they came on board for us to help us make a difference,” Simmons said.
For more information, visit www.bdrr.org.
ABOVE: Big Dog Ranch Rescue President Lauree Simmons, FPL spokeswomen Emily Pantelides and Christie DuBois, FPL Senior Community Relations Specialist Tim Moore, Optimum Comfort Cooling AC Tech Ed Adams and Gator Electric & Communications CEO Bruce Riley.Big Dog Ranch Rescue President Lauree Simmons, FPL spokeswomen Emily Pantelides and Christie DuBois, FPL Senior Community Relations Specialist Tim Moore, Optimum Comfort Cooling AC Tech Ed Adams and Gator Electric & Communications CEO Bruce Riley.