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National Grid offers cool summertime energy-saving tips

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Tue, Jul 3rd 2018 05:45 pm
Guest Editorial by National Grid
The heat will be on this weekend. Forecasters are calling for an extended run of high temperatures and humidity throughout the region. With that, home energy usage in most households also will rise, so National Grid encourages customers to use these simple summer energy-saving tips to stay cool and beat the heat.
Draw blinds, shades, drapes - Close window dressings to block the solar gain, especially with older windows, during the hottest part of the day and on south and west-facing windows.
Use programmable thermostats - Use of programmable thermostats optimizes air-conditioning systems, helping to boost energy savings.
Control your home's temperature remotely - Whether you're on vacation or on the go, a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat allows you to control your home's temperature remotely from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. These thermostats allow you to preset temperatures and could help to lower your energy bill by up to $180 a year. National Grid offers a $75 rebate to help make this energy-saving equipment more affordable for you.
Change air conditioner settings and filter - The lower you set your temperature on your air conditioner, the more costly it is to operate. For example, a 75-degree setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78-degree setting. Set the thermostat on your air conditioner as high as comfort will permit. In addition, check your window air conditioner filter and replace or clean it if it is clogged. If your home has central air conditioning, check the condition of the furnace filter and replace if dirty.
Home? Ceiling fans on. Away? Ceilings fans off. - Unlike an air conditioner, ceiling fans don't actually cool your home; they only circulate air to make you feel cooler. Therefore, they are most effective when you're home to enjoy the benefits. Turn them off when you're not home and save energy in the process.
Unplug electronics - Even though your electronics, like televisions and computers, are turned off they may still draw electricity. Unplug any unnecessary electronics and chargers until you need them. In addition, using an advanced power strip on your entertainment system reduces phantom load energy use and can save you up to $60 annually.
Check refrigerator and freezer temps - The ideal refrigerator temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees. For the freezer, the ideal reading is 5 degrees. It is also important to keep your refrigerator and freezer full so that they do not have to work as hard to stay cold. This can drastically lower the amount of energy that they'd ordinarily need to function properly.
Consider replacing or recycling older-model working refrigerators, especially if older than 10 years - Older model refrigerators often can use more than four times the energy of newer models and cost up to $150 a year to run. Consider replacing or recycling older-model units to save energy, money, and to help keep these appliances out of landfills.
National Grid also offers many programs and incentives to help customers take control of their energy use and save on monthly bills. These include incentives for energy-efficient equipment purchases and improvements from Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat to boilers, furnaces and hot water heaters. Also, property owners or building managers of apartments/condos with five to 50 units may qualify for comprehensive, energy-efficiency services based on the results of a free energy assessment performed by a qualified energy specialist. For more energy saving tips or to learn more about National Grid's energy-efficiency programs click here. Customers are encouraged to explore these additional simple summer energy-savings tips to stay cool and beat the heat.
Signs of Heat Stress, Tips to Reduce Energy Usage
National Grid also reminds customers that prolonged temperatures of 90°F or higher can lead to heat-related illnesses, especially for the elderly, young children and those with chronic illnesses. More information on heat stress can be found here.

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