National Grid gives tips for staying cool and saving money

SYRACUSE – National Grid officials say customers can cut their energy costs by taking free and inexpensive steps to stay cool. As summer kicks into high gear and temperatures in the region hover around the 90 degree mark, National Grid is reminding that it is possible to stay cool while reducing energy consumption and costs.

Among the ways to stay cool, National Grid says:

  • Close curtains, blinds and window curtains during the day to block sunlight and heat from your home by reducing the amount of heat entering your home, less energy will be needed to cool it;
  • Run oscillating or boxed fans with the air conditioning to create a wind chill effect by distributing and circulating cold air in a room, allowing you to keep the air conditioner at a higher temperature and use less of energy. The lower the temperature of your air conditioning, the more expensive it is to operate;
  • Change or clean your air conditioner’s reusable filter. This can improve airflow and efficiency.

Also, turn off lights when not in use. Turning off lights when you’re not using them can help you save money by lowering your electricity bills, extending the life of your bulbs, and reducing your bulb purchases; and

Think carefully before starting your oven. Conventional and convection ovens can add unnecessary heat to your home, forcing your air conditioner to run unnecessarily. Keep the heat out by using a grill or, if that’s not an option, consider using a microwave or slow cooker to get the job done.

Prepare your home when you go on vacation. If there’s a road trip or beach vacation on your calendar, take a few extra steps, like turning up your thermostat to keep your air conditioning from running when no one’s home. Unplug electronics with the remote or “instant” features and save $4 per month.

National Grid is also reminding customers to make safety the first priority during periods of extreme heat. Heat-related illnesses are preventable and have easily recognized symptoms. Vulnerable people, including the elderly, young children, and people with chronic illnesses, are most likely to develop heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Programs to help you manage your bills

The impact of world events on the energy supply markets and the increased electricity consumption of swimming pool filters and individual and central air conditioners will have an impact on household budgets. To help reduce price volatility, the National Grid strategically purchases energy supply and never mark-up supply costs; customers pay what we pay, officials said.

One option for customers looking to manage their costs is to enroll in the Budget Billing Plan. Customers pay a monthly amount based on their average energy usage, spreading the costs over time to provide a predictable monthly payment amount, National Grid said. The company periodically reviews accounts and adjusts payment amounts to keep customers on track if their usage increases or decreases. Participation is free and can be terminated at any time without penalty.

National Grid also offers various options for customers who need help paying their bills. Additionally, National Grid Consumer Advocates are available to work with low-income and vulnerable customers to find the affordability programs that best meet their needs, according to the announcement. The company’s consumer advocates provided assistance to nearly 31,000 households in 2021. To speak with a consumer advocate, call 1-800-642-4272.

National Grid also offers a variety of services and discounts for tenants, owners and businesses. These include discounts on the installation of Wi-Fi enabled thermostats, hot water pipe insulation, furnace combination water heaters and thermostatic radiator valves.

For more information on these and other online National Grid programs, visit: https://www.nationalgridus.com/Upstate-NY-Home/Bill-Help/Help-Making-Payments.

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