Amid extreme heat, PSEG-LI activates voluntary saving program


Amid the current heat spell, PSEG Long Island is activating its voluntary “Smart Savers Thermostat Program.”

PSEG-LI says it expects to have enough electric capacity to meet customer demand for the high temperatures and high humidity.  But with its thermostat program, it can reduce loading on the system, which the utility says helps customers create future savings.

“Customers with smart thermostats who choose to enroll in this program are helping everyone in the service area by allowing us to reduce the peak demand on some of the hottest days,” Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewable energy for PSEG Long Island, said in a statement.

“This saves them money today and it will help generate savings for customers in the future,” he added.

PSEG-LI says it must purchase power in advance, and bases the amount on load forecasts and state-mandated capacity requirements that incorporate peak-usage levels from previous years. And by reducing peak usage this year, it is able to lower the amount of power that must be purchased in advance for next summer.

By activating the program, PSEG-LI can maintain an up-to-date assessment of the program’s capability to reduce demand on peak load days.

There are nearly 27,500 customers who elected to participate in this program, according to PSEG-LI. These customers may experience on- and off-cycling of their central air conditioning systems, or a small increase in temperature, between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.

To limit the impact of hot weather and better manage electric usage, the utility urges customers to use power as efficiently as possible, so they can keep cool and keep energy costs down.

PSEG-LI recommends setting home thermostats or air conditioner units to 78 degrees. It also recommends running major appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and pool pumps, in the morning or late evening to avoid the peak demand hours of 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional recommendations include setting refrigerators and freezers at most-efficient temperatures.

And cooling an empty house is not recommended. Instead, set thermostat higher while away, or use a smart thermostat to control the temperature in your home. Customers can receive an incentive on qualifying thermostats for enrolling in the Smart Savers Thermostat program, which can be used to control usage during peak summer days.

Commercial customers can also access efficiencies by signing up for the Commercial System Relief program.

Additional tips include closing blinds and drapes facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat.

And the utility says that ceiling fans cool fast and cost less than air conditioning. It recommends in hot weather to set ceiling fan to spin quickly, counterclockwise to push air downward toward the floor.

Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows with caulk or weather-stripping. Replace old appliances with new energy efficient Energy Star appliances. And replace air filters monthly. Dirty filters make air-conditioners work harder, according to PSEG-LI.

During the high temperature spell, high electric demand can sometimes cause scattered, heat-related outages. PSEG-LI says it will have additional personnel available to address outages safely and as quickly as possible.


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