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Public Service Commission Approves Gulf Power Rate Increase

Gird your loins! Your next trip to the mail box may be a shocker! In early December, 2013, the Public Service Commission gave Gulf Power Company the green light to raise base electric rates!

gulf power 1

A residential bill in January, 2014 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity is currently slated to be $127.94. That same bill will increase $4.06, an increase of about 3.2 percent. In addition, in January, 2015, the price will increase an additional $2.42 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The deal is expected to provide 42 months of rate stability for Gulf Power’s more than 430,000 customers.

The hike allows Gulf Power to increase its revenue through base rates by $35 million in January, with another $20 million boost in 2015.energy graph 1

The money will be used to pay for 15 transmission projects, both new and upgrades.

Examples of the planned Gulf Power infrastructure investments include:

1.) Substations are being added and improved to continue to  provide reliable service to customers. In Pensacola, a substation on Devilliers Street has been rebuilt. On Allison Avenue in Panama City, a new substation has been built.

2.) Seventy miles of 70-year-old transmission line is being rebuilt from Panama City to Holmes County.

3.) An existing transmission line between Highland City and Holmes Creek substations in the Panama City area is being upgraded to maintain reliability for customers.

4.) A new 38-mile line is being added that begins in the Pensacola area and goes to the Florida-Alabama state line. This project is necessary for mandatory federal environmental compliance.

Visit www.gulfpower.com for ways to possibly save money on your energy bill.

What do you think about this increase? Are there more cost effective solutions out there for the average home owner? Post your comments here.

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Pensacola Area Food Drives Abound this Thanksgiving: Please Share with Those in Need

We, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, want to share some good news to encourage all our neighbors from Pace, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola, Florida and any other surrounding areas to give thanks by sharing with those in need.

mayflower food driveEpiscopal Day School

Episcopal Day School, Manna Food Banks and Coastal Moving and Storage are sponsoring the “Fill the Mayflower” food drive in downtown Pensacola in front of Christ Church on Palafox Street on Friday, November 22 and Monday, November 25 at the Cordova Mall.

A 26-foot Mayflower van will be parked on Palafox Street in front of Christ Church beginning at 7:30 a.m. this coming Friday Morning.

Donors are encouraged to bring canned and dry goods for Manna Food Pantries to the truck until 3:30 p.m. Some examples of donations include canned fruit and vegetables, rice and pasta mixes, cereal and other ready-to-eat breakfast items, as well as dry baking goods, such as flour, powdered or brown sugar, nuts, etc.

Most needed items include: peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables and individually packed breakfast items.

non perishable food 1

Donors dropping off before 8 a.m. or between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m should park behind Christ Church to avoid the car line for Episcopal Day School.

Pensacola Catholic High School

A Thanksgiving Food Drive is also under way at Pensacola Catholic High School. This began November 1 and runs through November 22, 2013. Non-perishable food items that are donated will be distributed to those most needy in the area through the St. Vincent dePaul Society distribution centers, the Alfred Washburn Center and St. Joseph’s Food Pantry.

Pensacola Catholic High School is located at 3043 West Scott Street, Pensacola, FL 32505. If you have any questions about this drive, please call 850-436-6400.

Shaggy’s Restaurant

Shaggy’s Restaurant on Pensacola Beach is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Food Drive to help those less fortunate, too! Guests are encouraged to bring in $5.00 worth of food donations. Those that do, receive 10% off of their dining bill. Donations collected will be given to the Santa Rosa Kids House. Shaggy’s is located at 701 Pensacola Beach Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32561. Call them at 850-934-4852 for additional details.food drive

Little Flower Catholic School

Little Flower Catholic School located at 6495 Lillian Highway, Pensacola, FL 32516 is sponsoring its own Thanksgiving Food Drive. Donations are being accepted through November 22, 2013.

Many area churches and schools take part in collecting non-perishable food items during the holiday season. Please check with your local parish or school district and help those less fortunate by giving what you can. Thank you for caring and sharing! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals.

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Pensacola Real Estate All Glammed-Up For Halloween

haunted house tour pensacola Pensacola, Florida Real Estate has some “Spooktacular” history! Take a ghost tour through downtown Pensacola or wander the streets of any ghoulishly-decorated neighborhood and enjoy the frightfully-good times this season has to offer!

The Pensacola Historical Society is putting on their 23rd Annual Haunted House walking tours October 18, 19 and October 25 and 26 and trolley tours October 19, 25 and 26, 2013. Visit the Historic Pensacola webpage for times and details.

Splash! Northwest Florida Entertainment Magazine highlights some haunted Real Estate in Pensacola that is sure to elicit goosebumps!

Area retailers have stocked their shelves with all sorts of hauntingly-good deals on decor, costumes, candy and other scary paraphernalia.

The annual Haystackular event in Pace, Florida is taking shape and the high-rise of hay bales can be seen dotting the skyline.

Local children are busy designing or begging their parents for whatever costume they feel is sure to delight or fright their friends. Don’t forget to stock up on candy for these adorable beggars! Store shelves empty quickly! halloween beggars

According to the National Federation of Retailers, this year’s average American will spend $75.03 on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations –  down from $79.02 last year.

Because Halloween is a holiday celebrated the world over by people of all ages, it is unlikely to dampen the “spirits” of all the die-hard enthusiasts who decorate and celebrate no matter what the national polls say. With only a few short weeks left, what are you waiting for? Go hit the pumpkin patch and like Charles Schultz’s characters, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally and Snoopy get ready for the annual visit of “the Great Pumpkin”!!

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How to Rake Your Leaves, Without Breaking Your Back

leaf falling 1We are just starting to flirt with the crisp, cool days of Fall! Ah! What a welcome relief from the heat of Summer! Because we live in the beautiful Florida Panhandle, we are fortunate enough to enjoy a change of seasons.

At this time of year, an untold number of Americans flock to areas to see the turning or changing color of the leaves. Of course, with the falling leaves comes the annual chore of raking those leaves off of our lawns! There are all sorts of on-line sites, such as Medicine.net, that offer medically-based tips on how to take care of your lawn.

In addition to medical advise, there are, thank goodness, rakes of every style and description that have been created to save our backs from succumbing to the aches and pains, that can be the result of this task! An assortment can be found at any Lowe’s Home Improvement Store or at The Home Depot Store.

Choosing the right equipment to tidy up your personal piece of Real Estate is an important first step. The least intensive way to go about this job is by using a leaf blower. The downside is that this is a noisy exercise may not impress the neighbors, and it is even more likely they won’t be happy when you blow your leaves into their yard or the street! Okay, so this may be a last resort!

A second option may be a lawn sweeper.  It is better for the environment and will still clear away the leaves. A lawn sweeper  is similar to a large lawn mower that sweeps up the leaves and automatically drops them into a hopper. After which, you still need to dump the leaves into a garbage bag or trash can.

This option is quick and the least manually demanding. Unfortunately, lawn sweepers can be quite costly and require a good bit of space to store when not in use.

If you opt for a traditional rake, here are a few things to consider:

Use a wide-headed rake with a long handle – rakes with a wider span gather more leaves with each sweep. Look for a 25 to 30 inch width made of durable plastic or metal. You should look for a handle long enough to be able to allow you to stand basically erect while raking (usually at least 48 inches).leaf raking 1

Consider a pivoting-head rake – The rakes have a head that pivots 270 degrees, allowing for better leverage and less back strain. Here again, the drawback is that these style rakes can be more expensive.

Try a leaf scooping rake – These rakes look like a crab claw and performs both the raking and scooping function. The scooping function can save you time and the energy required to bend over to perform the same task.

An ergonomically-shaped rake, that’s clog free and has a curved handle will help you to use the correct posture for the job at hand. If you don’t have one of these, just remember not to slouch and don’t reach to far away from your feet. You want to remember to move around when raking. This will alleviate undue back strain, too.

Approach leave raking smartly! You may think you will get a “jump on it”, if you head out when the leaves first start falling. But, it is actually better to wait for a fair amount of them to fall, and then plan a “dry” day to head out with the rake. Both of these will allow you to rake less often and less strenuously.

The most effective raking is done with a medium-paced motion that doesn’t get slowed down by long dragging sweeps or too much leaf bulk. Choosing a cooler day, when the wind is calm or lightly blowing is optimum.

Remember to dress the part, too! Wear layers of clothing and gloves to protect yourself from biting insects, spiders or thorns. If the weather or the chore warms up, you can always remove a layer of clothing to make yourself more comfortable.

leaf raking 2For those of you with back concerns, remember not to stuff too many leaves into your garbage bag or can, as this heavy lifting will affect your back negatively. Also, limit the time you spend bending over and when you do bend at the knees.

With a little planning, it is easy to tailor to your needs and keep your lawn leaf-free. Your local hardware store can provide you with the rake, that best suites your price point and individual needs. And with the advent of shopping on-line, a mouse click or two can fulfill this acquisition as well!

Contact your local garbage collection agency, as some don’t even require you to bag your leaves. You just put the piles on the curb for pick-up, thus saving you time and money. Check to see if this is an option in your community.

One final thought. Do get out and enjoy this lovely time of year. It is gone in a heartbeat, and it is something you don’t want to miss!

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The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival Comes to Pensacola

The time has come for one of Pensacola’s biggest and best annual events. The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival happens this weekend in Seville Square in downtown Pensacola.

 

To find out about new homes to be built in the Pensacola real estate market, or existing homes, anywhere in the Pensacola real estate market call Jim Holland at 850-206-6140  

 

The three day juried show brings over 200 artists from all over the country to Pensacola to show and sell their creations, and compete for 25,000.00 in total prize money

 

 

It is always well attended and the festivities include not only art, but nationally known, and local, music acts, as well as a special children’s stage

 

Also there will be a large variety of food and refreshments.

The hours are:

9-5 on Friday and Saturday,
November 4 and 5.
9-4 on Sunday, November 6

Children’s Festival Hours:
Saturday & Sunday 10-4

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