What if Men were totally in charge of House Design?

Men Designing Houses

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Duke Energy Ramps Up for Solar Facility in Osceola County

Duke Energy Florida has big plans in Osceola County. The company announced plans to build a new 3.8-megawatt solar facility in Osceola County, the first of Duke’s long-range plan to install 35 megawatts of solar by 2018 and up to 500 megawatts in Florida by 2024.

Duke SolarThe Osceola facility is expected to be built on 17 acres of a larger 25-acre parcel owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEF) on Canoe Creek Road in Kenansville. The larger parcel includes the Canoe Creek transmission substation, owned and operated by DEF. The existing substation will allow the new solar facility to be connected to the grid without additional easements or extensive line construction.

Duke Energy’s new solar facilities will complement a new combined-cycle natural gas plant to be built in Citrus County, an upgrade of a combined-cycle energy complex in Polk County and the purchase of the Osprey Energy Center, also in Polk County.

The projects will allow the company to not only meet the need for additional energy for its customers beginning in 2018, but also to retire half of its Florida coal-fired fleet by that same year.

Construction of the Osceola Solar Facility will begin once permits are approved. The facility is expected to be on line in early 2016.

Orlando Business Journal 10/1/2015

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Florida Supreme Court weighs solar energy ballot initiative

TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) – The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday about the language of a proposed constitutional amendment that would let consumers buy electricity from independent solar power companies, rather than stay dependent on state-regulated utilities.

SolarBulbFlorida is one of a handful of states where homeowners and businesses are not permitted by law to buy electricity directly from anyone other than a utility.

Attorneys for the utilities told the court the amendment promoting solar energy is deceptively worded and improperly deals with multiple parts of state law.

But a lawyer for advocates of putting the proposal on the 2016 election ballot said it will simply allow consumers to find cheap, clean electricity.

   “It does that: no more, no less,” said Robert Nabors, representing Floridians for Solar Choice.

His clients have certified more than 121,000 voter signatures for a “Solar Choice” ballot initiative that would prevent government agencies or power companies from imposing regulations or fees on rates, services and territories for solar facilities.

Organizers say another 110,000 signatures are awaiting verification.

Property owners could generate up to 2 megawatts and sell power directly to adjacent homes or businesses.

The Supreme Court does not rule on whether the amendment is a good idea, only on whether its 75-word ballot summary accurately depicts a proposal, and whether the measure deals with a single subject.

In a courtroom packed with solar choice supporters, the seven justices sharply questioned attorneys for an hour about legal precedents on ballot initiatives.

Barry Richard, representing Florida Power & Light Co, Tampa Electric Co and Duke Energy Florida and Gulf Power Co, claimed the amendment deals with regulatory matters at state, county and city levels, more than one topic, and that its summary suggests the state placed “unfavorable” terms on solar providers.

“There is no evidence that the Public Service Commission is imposing barriers,” Richard said.

Stephen Grimes, a former Supreme Court justice representing the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, said the amendment would strip the PSC and local governments of some regulatory powers, though the ballot summary does not say so.

“The ballot summary fails to advise the voter that small solar providers can completely ignore health, safety and building code regulations,” he said. “They didn’t want the voters to know that.”

   If the court approves the wording, supporters have until Feb. 1 to gather 683,149 valid voter signatures statewide to get the proposal on the ballot.

By Bill Cotterell 090315

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Warning from Florida Dept of Business & Professional Regulation


Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Person

  • Poor qualifications.  Unlicensed persons typically do not have the education, insurance, or qualification required of a licensee.
  • Poor quality work.  Unlicensed contractors typically do poor quality work or do not finish the project, leaving the homeowner on the hook to repair or finish the project.
  • Possible criminal background.  Unlicensed persons often have criminal backgrounds that may include fraud, theft, violent crime, sexual offenses, and substance abuse.
  • Likelihood of being the victim of a scam.  Unlicensed persons often disappear after taking your money, and the department cannot discipline an unlicensed person, help get your money back, or require the person to finish or improve the work done. Scams in the construction industry, especially home improvement, are sadly widespread.  Con artists pose as contractors and often target vulnerable people and take advantage of homeowner’s need for urgent post-hurricane property damage.
  • Limited resources for broken contracts.  When you have a dispute with a licensed contractor, you call the department, which has the authority to discipline and even revoke the license.  This gives the licensee more incentive to play fair.    However, this type of action is not available against unlicensed contractors and homeowners often find the only answer is an expensive, and generally futile, civil suit.
  • No insurance and liability for injuries to others:  You may end up being liable for personal or financial injuries to others.  An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured and will have no way to pay you back for any property damage.
  • No coverage under homeowner’s policy.  Most homeowner policies require that work must be done by a licensed contractor and provide no coverage for work that is not.
  • Noncompliance with building codes.  Most projects, even small ones, require permits and inspections that unlicensed contractors ignore or are unfamiliar with.  If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code, you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines by local government.
  • Liens being imposed on your property.  You may be subject to liens placed on your property by subcontractors or supplies.  Please see http://www.dbpr.state.fl.us/reg/Liens.html for more information about Florida lien law.
  • No coverage under homeowner’s policy.  Most homeowner policies require that work must be done by a licensed contractor and provide no coverage for work that is not.
  • Noncompliance with building codes.  Most projects, even small ones, require permits and inspections that unlicensed contractors ignore or are unfamiliar with.  If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines by local government.


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LIVE Remote Broadcast of WFLA’s Home Improvement Show May 30, 2015

It’s all about Neighbors helping Neighbors

May 8, 2015 iHeartMedia Orlando Press Release – Jerry Lenz

WFLA’s Home Improvement Show will be broadcasting LIVE from New Image Youth Center on Saturday  May 30, 2015, 9am-11am to help a wonderful cause–the youth of Orlando. You are welcome to join us and meet Charlie DePari, host of the long-running radio program on AM540 and FM 102.5 WFLA Orlando and his guests for the program.

New Image Youth Center

The mission of New Image Youth Center is to improve the lives of youth by providing an environment where students feel safe to dream, and to support the realization of dreams through programs designed to foster academic, social, and physical well-being. Visit the website for location and more information HERE.

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What services require a State of Florida license?

What services require a State of Florida license?

From My Florida website see more here.


A Contractor is someone who demolishes, subtracts from, builds or improves any building or structure for compensation.  Examples of compensation are cash, goods, services, etc.  Essentially, if you pay someone to construct a building or a structure, make structural alterations to load bearing walls, or perform services such as plumbing or air conditioning work, that person has to have a state contractors’ license.

Emergency-PlumbingThese items are offered as examples of services you do need to hire a person with a Florida license and services you do not need to hire a person with a Florida license.  The list is not all inclusive.  If you have specific questions, please contact the department at 850.487.1395 or review the rules for the profession at www.myfloridalicense.com.  You should also check with your county or city to learn whether or not a local business tax receipt or certificate of competency is required for services that do not require a state license. Please visit our Unlicensed Activity page to learn more about how you can help us combat Unlicensed Activity.

Needs a License Does not need a license

Build a carport or sunroom for compensation.

Install a driveway or install pavers/tile walkways regardless of compensation.

Construct a roof for compensation.

Install awnings that do not become a fixed part of the structure regardless of compensation.

Install a dishwasher (requires connecting to drinking water) or replace a hot-water heater for compensation.

Add a water filter onto a faucet regardless of compensation.

Install a central air-conditioning unit for compensation (requires structural work and wiring).

Insert a plug-in A/C window unit regardless of compensation.

Clean central air and heat ducts for compensation (requires partial disassembly of the system, such as removal of air grills).

Change an A/C filter or cleaning ducts that do not require removal of the air grills regardless of compensation.

Repair or replace swimming pool pumps for compensation.

Clean swimming pools.

Install an above-ground pool regardless of compensation.

Perform plumbing work or irrigation installation that requires the contractor to connect lines to potable (drinking) water for compensation.

Install or repair irrigation systems that have a backflow preventer connected to a potable (drinking) water supply regardless of compensation.

Build a barn, metal building, or detached garage for compensation.

Install prefabricated tool shed less than 250 square feet in size regardless of compensation. The shed may be up to 400 square feet if it bears the insignia of approval from the Department of Community Affairs.

Remodel a home that requires alteration or replacement of a load-bearing wall for compensation.

Paint; install cabinets, wood or tile flooring, and insulation regardless of compensation.

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract also includes work on the load bearing part of the wall, plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract does not include other work on the load bearing part of the wall or any plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

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Environmental Impact of Tankless Electric Water Heaters

Is a Tankless Electric Water Heater Better for the Environment?

These days everyone is aware of their carbon footprint and wants to be eco-friendly enough to say that they at least attempted to leave behind a somewhat greener planet for their kids. So is a tankless electric water heater more environmentally friendly than other types of water heaters and could a tankless electric water heater be the solution you need to lower your carbon footprint?

tankless-electric-water-heater1First and foremost ask yourself, “Do I really need hot water all the time, even if I’m not at home?” Chances are the answer to the internal struggle you might have going on, is no. This wastes on average about 20% of your monthly household energy use. Basically these tankless water heaters safeguard your monthly energy usage.

The difference between a conventional water heater and a tankless electric water heater:
A normal water heater has a tank that is always filled with water and is constantly being heated up to a usable temperature. Because standard water heaters are always heating water in your home, they provide your home with hot water whenever you need it and even when you don’t.

tankless electric water heater works by means of a coil system that is activated and begins to heat whenever you open your hot water taps. As the cold water passes over the aforementioned coil system, it becomes instantly heated. With tankless electric heaters you can choose the temperature at which it is set to heat your water – this will determine the heat of the coils as the water passes over it. This will then affect the speed of the water as it passes over the coils as well as the warmth of the water.

Tankless electric water heaters safeguard energy by only heating the exact amount of water you will be using at any moment in time and only when needed. These devices are highly suited to holiday homes as they reduce the risk of a normal tank leaking and you never have to worry about switching it off and on again every time you visit – there is no waiting period for your water to reheat if you’re visiting after a long time. These are also a lot smaller and save space, and some brands can even be placed outside the home.

There are environmental pros to having an electric tankless water heater, such as the energy efficiency aspect, although you will be spending some money to get it. If you analyze the long-term benefits, however, you’ll see you save both money and water. These water heaters also have a longer lifespan in comparison to normal water heaters that only last between 10 – 12 years on average. Electric tankless water heaters can last for approximately 20 years. The greatest advantage is the lack of space or ventilation required to install it and the size means that less energy and resources are used to make them.

Amidst the growing global concern for global warming, which has made the general population more aware of the environmental impact of burning and utilizing fossil fuels, you, as a consumer, are encouraged to reduce your carbon footprint for the benefit of future generations. Bear in mind that switching to any alternate source or type of water heater is better for the environment than conventional heaters. Switching to an electrictankless water heater is the best possible choice you can make.

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