Residents advised to use energy wisely

Hot and humid weather in the local forecast may lead to higher energy use as residents and businesses rely on air conditioning to keep cool. “Using electricity efficiently, especially during the hottest months, helps the statewide electric system provide reliable energy when demands are at their highest,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson.

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 goes to power 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. 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.

“Because more electricity is used in the summer, and market prices for electricity are set according to the laws of supply and demand, electric supply prices on the wholesale market tend to rise this time of year, particularly during the warmest weather,” said Laurito. “That creates a double impact of increased usage and higher prices. Using appliances efficiently, especially in the summer, can help residents manage their energy bills.”

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 in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Kingston, 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 under the “Energy Savings Tips” link.

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