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June 20th, 2012

Higher Temperatures May Prompt Higher Energy Use

Hot and humid weather is expected to continue through Thursday, which may prompt higher energy use as residents and businesses rely on air conditioning to keep cool.

Central Hudson is prepared for the higher temperatures and electrical demands by having readied crews, postponing certain maintenance activities and ensuring adequate supplies of electricity, said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson. “It’s important to remember that using electricity efficiently, especially during the hottest days, helps the statewide electric system provide reliable energy when demands are at their highest,” said Laurito.

“Customer can take some simple steps to help manage their energy bills,” said Laurito. “Market prices for electricity are set according to the laws of supply and demand,” he said. “Because more electricity is used on hot and humid days, electric supply prices on the wholesale market tend to rise this time of year, particularly during the warmest weather.”

Ways in which customers can save energy include:

·         Turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and unplugging electronic devices, such as televisions, entertainment systems and computers, that continue to draw power even when off. Some devices use up to 25 watts of “standby power” when idle, and approximately 10 percent of the total energy used by homes powers devices that are not in use. Plugging these devices into a power strip and then switching off the strip when the devices are not used is a convenient and effective way to reduce standby power.

·         Setting thermostats on air conditioners to 78 degrees and higher during times when the home is not occupied, and considering the use of fans to keep cool. Also, changing dirty filters on air conditioners will help the unit run more efficiently.

·         Using large appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers during the evening hours, when overall energy use is less.

·         Closing doors, windows, curtains, shades and blinds during the day to seal out the heat and block sunlight when temperatures are at their highest.

·         Keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed as long as possible, and limiting the time they are opened.

Information about Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs, incentives and rebates is available by visiting the SavingsCentral link at For example, residents can save up to $600 on the purchase of high efficiency central air conditioning and heat pump systems, or on home air sealing by a certified contractor; receive $50 to $100 on the purchase of Energy Star rated window and wall air conditioners when they turn in their older units for recycling at participating Sears locations; and even receive a $50 rebate for turning in an older, working refrigerator or freezer for recycling. The website also has links and information about no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency measures in the Energy Conservation link, under the Your Home section, and tips on keeping cool and saving energy during the summer in the Energy Efficiency section.

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