Long Island, NY - December 2, 2014 - The holiday season in Central New York features festive lighting displays, cold nights, and the shortest days of the year – what better time for customers to focus on energy efficiency? National Grid encourages customers to follow simple energy efficiency tips while decorating and entertaining this year to ensure that everyone enjoys safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly holidays.
Energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) decorative light strings have definite advantages over incandescent lighting because they use up to 90 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light, which results in significant savings. LEDs are also more durable and safer – especially when used around dry trees – because unlike traditional lights that can get hot and pose a fire hazard, LED light bulbs always stay cool.
Advanced power strips can save up to $100 per year in energy costs by eliminating “standby energy loss.” When peripheral appliances such as audio equipment or computer monitors are not being used, they often still consume energy. Advanced power strips shut off electricity to such devices automatically, while maintaining power to products that need it, such as cable boxes or modems. Also, consider using fewer lights and more decorations that do not use energy— such as wreaths or poinsettias.
Additional holiday energy-saving tips:
- Yard Inflatables – Yard inflatables range from simple blow-up cartoon characters to 8-foot-tall globes with rotating figures, blowing snow and lights. Large globes consume about 150 watts per hour, while rotating carousels consume around 200 watts. At 10 hours per day, the total cost of electricity could be $10 per inflatable, per month.
- Holiday Cooking – Use the smallest appliance, pan and burner while cooking to save energy. For example, microwave ovens require less than half the energy of a conventional oven. Slow cookers are great ways to cook for a family and save money. On average, a whole meal can be cooked in a slow cooker for 17 cents worth of electricity.
- Smart Baking – Improve oven efficiency by keeping the doors closed as much as possible and baking several dishes at the same time and temperature.
- Keeping Food Cool – Newer refrigerators are more energy-efficient than older ones. Refrigerators and freezers operate more efficiently when the doors are kept closed as much as possible. If necessary, leaving the doors open for a longer period of time is more efficient than opening and closing them several times.
- Storing the Feast – Keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in a garage or on a porch, if temperatures permit. Unplugging a second refrigerator or freezer can save $23 per month in electricity costs.
- Washing the Dishes – Dishwashers use less water than running the water while hand-washing dishes. However, if washing by hand is the only option, using a wash and rinse basin saves water and money compared with letting the water run.
- Turn Off the Lights – Limit the time that lights are on. Wait until dark to turn on your holiday lights; then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal. Turning off room lights when the tree is lit can also make a difference. The lights on a holiday tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.
- Smart Gifts – Giving a television, computer or other big electronic gift this year? Do the right thing by purchasing a product with the ENERGY STAR label. For more information, visit www.energystar.gov , and for the most efficient products, visit www.toptenusa.org . It is also important to remember some basic guidelines when preparing for the holidays to ensure that everyone is kept safe when decorating.
- Avoid Overhead Lines – Overhead power lines are NOT insulated and carry enough energy to cause serious injury or even death. Never use an aluminum ladder within 10 feet of power lines, and keep yourself and holiday decorations at least 10 feet away from residential electric lines and equipment.
- Approved Lighting – Make sure your lights have a safety listing from a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). A safety approval seal means the lights have been tested and are safe to use. Use lights only as intended. Always unplug your lights before going to bed or leaving home.
- Outdoor Connections – Plug outdoor lights into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, which are available at hardware and electrical supply stores. If there is an electrical fault with a light string, GFCIs will automatically shut off the electricity well before any electric shock could occur. Also, cover outdoor plugs and connector joints with a water-resistant layer of plastic wrap and electrical tape.
- Christmas Trees – If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s been tested for flammability by the Underwriters Laboratories. To prevent electrical shock, never use electric decorations on artificial trees with metallic needles, leaves or branches. Instead, place colored spotlights above or beside the tree—never attached to it. Keep your natural tree well-watered to prevent bulbs from igniting dry branches. Keep extension cords and light sets away from the tree stand.
- Don’t Overload – Don’t overload your electric circuits. Check your fuse or breaker panel to see how much your home can handle and stay well within limits.
- Avoid Shock – Make sure there’s a bulb in each socket. If a bulb has burned out, leave it in until you have a replacement.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
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