2010-06-18 / Community

Tips For Saving Power During Vacations

Summertime is the ideal season for vacations, and with a few energy saving actions, it’s also a great time to save money on your energy bill. Whether you plan to spend your days on the beach, tenting with the family or visiting out-of-town relatives, National Grid offers the following tips to reduce your energy consumption as much as possible while you are away from home.

Consider the following energy-saving tips before your next trip:

Adjust the thermostat – Since you’re not there to enjoy the air conditioning, adjust your thermostat accordingly. In the summer, National Grid recommends a setting of 78 degrees. While you’re away, consider turning your thermostat up or turning your air conditioning off completely. Each degree above 78 will save on your cooling costs.

Turn off ceiling fans, close the drapes – Ceiling fans don’t actually cool your home; they only circulate air to make you feel cooler. Therefore, they are most effective when you’re home to enjoy the benefits. Turn them off when you’re not home and save energy in the process. Also, closing your drapes or blinds will keep the hot sun out and cause your air conditioner to run less.

Manage your water heater – Since no one is home to use hot water, why leave your hot water heater on? Consider turning it off at the circuit breaker; if you have a natural gas water heater, use the “vacation” mode. There’s no reason to heat water all day long, every day while you’re gone. Just remember to run the hot water from a sink before turning the water heater back on to ensure the tank is not empty. Another option would be to install a natural gas tankless water heater.

Unplug electronics – Even though your television and other appliances are turned off, electronics with little standby lights still draw electricity. Unplug any unnecessary appliances until you return home.

Use light timers, motion detectors – Many people like to leave a light on to indicate someone is home. Use a light timer instead; this also gives a more realistic impression of someone being at home. And, rather than leave your porch light on the entire time you’re gone, install a motion detector.

National Grid has a 20-year track record of partnering with its customers to provide successful, award-winning efficiency programs in its U.S. service territory. In addition, National Grid recently challenged its customers to pledge to reduce their energy consumption by three percent every year for the next ten years. Customers can sign a pledge; participate in a free energy evaluation; and learn more about the company’s energy efficiency programs at www.powerofaction.com.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approxi- * Protect yourself against scams. If someone says they can help you get your check more quickly if you pay them a fee, immediately report this scam or any similar fraud to the police or to your Attorney General. You can find the Attorney General’s phone number in the blue pages of the telephone book or online at www.naag.org.

You should also report any suspected scam to Medicare by calling 1-800- MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). * Your check will be mailed to the address Social Security uses to reach you. If you need to change your address, please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If you prefer, a change of address may also be reported by calling or visiting your local Social Security office. * You may be able to save on your prescription drugs. By entering the name of each of your drugs, its dosage, and how often you take it into AARP’s Doughnut Hole Calculator (www.aarp.org/doughnuthole), you can see when you are likely to enter the doughnut hole. This tool will also identify less costly drugs available in your Part D plan and will print out a personalized letter that will help you begin a conversation with your physician about switching to lower-cost alternatives.

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