Watering Your Way to a Healthy Lawn

It’s time to water your lawn to keep it green and healthy, but you don’t want to waste water. So, do you grab a cup of coffee or a flashlight?

Here on Long Island, research shows the best time to run your sprinkler is from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.

In the early morning hours, water pressure is high, wind is moderate and the amount of water lost to evaporation is negligible. Watering early in the morning also reduces the chance of turf diseases that require extended periods of leaf moisture.

Not a morning person? No problem. Try a timer or an automatic sprinkler system so you can keep counting sheep while your sprinkler gets the job done.

Too much, too little, just right?
According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, the amount of water to apply depends on the soil type and its moisture content:

  • On a loamy or silty soil, it’s best to apply around one inch of water once a week.
  • Sandy soils typically require one-half inch of water twice a week.
  • Apply water slowly to clay soil, or at several different times, to allow time for it to soak in.

How long does a sprinkler need to run to apply an inch of water? For the average-size hose, it takes two to three hours. The following is a good way to check the amount of water applied:

  1. Place small, straight-sided containers at different intervals in the sprinkling area.
  2. Catch the water for an hour.
  3. Measure the depth of water with a ruler (all levels should be the same).

Over-watering your lawn can cause shallow roots, nutrient loss, weed growth and other problems. Install a sensor to measure rain levels and use a water gauge. The simplest way to check for over-watering is to use the screwdriver method. If you can insert a screwdriver into the soil easily (about six inches deep), your lawn has enough water.

Call Before You Dig

If you’re planning on adding to your outdoor space – whether it’s planting a tree, building a garden bed or putting in a fence, it’s important to be aware of what’s under your lawn. Buried gas lines, water pipes and electrical wires may be located beneath your yard. Striking a single line can cause serious injuries, as well as service disruption that may result in repair costs, fines, and environmental damage. The good news is that you can easily avoid these hazards with one free phone call to 8-1-1 before you dig.

Learn more about 8-1-1 on our site at www.psegliny.com/811

Prepare for summer and high heat days

According to the National Weather Service, “on average, extreme heat has killed more people in the last 10 years than any other weather phenomena.” The NWS encourages people to remember the acronym HEAT – Hydrate. Educate yourself. Act quickly. Take it easy.

During extreme heat conditions, customers should:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Take precautions such as not wearing dark colors. Know the signs of heat illness.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Act quickly if someone exhibits heat illness.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Hot and sticky weather can lead to more usage and higher electric bills. Customers can save energy and money this summer by following 10 simple tips:

  1. Don’t cool an empty house. Set your thermostat higher when you are away.
  2. Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows with caulk or weatherstripping.
  3. Replace air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder.
  4. Use a microwave or crockpot instead of the oven. Better yet, grill outdoors.
  5. Operate appliances in the morning or evening when it is cooler outside.
  6. When washing dishes or clothes, run full loads.
  7. Wash laundry in cold water.
  8. Close blinds and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat.
  9. Don’t cool unused rooms. Close the vents and shut the door.
  10. Ceiling fans cool fast and cost less than air conditioning. In hot weather, set your ceiling fan to spin quickly, counterclockwise to push air downward toward the floor.

Check out our list of tips for saving on energy bills, https://www.psegliny.com/saveenergyandmoney/tipsandtools/66waystosave.

Summer vacations are back! Be sure to save energy while away!

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise and travel restrictions ease, many people are planning their first big trip since the pandemic began. Just over 50% of Americans say they will definitely take at least one trip this summer while another 32% are considering it, according to the personal finance website ValuePenguin.com.

Saving energy while you’re away is just as important to your household budget and the environment as when you’re home. And with the proliferation of home offices and work computers as a result of the pandemic, there may be even greater opportunities to save while you’re away at the beach, mountains or other getaway destination.

Follow these simple tips to help save money while you’re away and put some dollars back in your pocket for your upcoming trip:

  1. Use a smart thermostat. If you have a smart thermostat, set it to vacation mode so that it knows you’re away. This will override your normal daily schedule and maximize energy savings. And if your plans change while you’re away, a smart thermostat allows you to make changes through a phone or tablet. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, visit the PSEG Long Island Marketplace where instant rebates are available on popular models. If you have a standard thermostat, consider setting the AC to around 84 degrees or turning it off completely before you hit the road.
  2. Turn off lights and ceiling fans, or use timers. Even if you’re using LED lights, remember to turn them all off before you leave the house. Try a timer to turn a few lights on at night as a security measure to make it appear someone is home.
  3. Adjust the temperature on your water heater. If you have a natural gas water heater, you can set it to “low” or “vacation” mode. If you have an electric water heater, set the temperature as low as possible. Water heaters are among the top three energy using appliances in your home.
  4. Unplug appliances and turn off power strips. Even when they’re turned off, appliances continue to draw power, inflating your energy bill. Find anything that has a display screen or light like a TV, cable box, coffee maker or toaster oven and unplug it. Consider purchasing an advanced power strip that saves energy year round from the PSEG Long Island Marketplace where you’ll find instant rebates on popular models.
  5. Don’t empty the refrigerator. Did you know a full fridge is more efficient than a half-empty one? You’ll save energy by getting rid of any perishables, and stacking the shelves with water bottles while you’re away. To conserve even more, adjust the thermostats to higher settings: 38 degrees for the refrigerator and 5 degrees for the freezer.
  6. Close blinds and pull curtains down. This will block the sun and prevent radiant heat from warming up your home and keep your home cooler so the AC won’t have to work as hard.
  7. Change pool pump and spa settings. If you have a pool, set the pool pump to run less to save energy. If you have a spa, turn off the heater or lower the temperature before you leave.

It’s Time to Prepare for Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

PSEG Long Island is reminding customers to prepare for high heat days as the summer approaches. PSEG Long Island is prepared to meet the increased electrical demand that high temperatures bring.

“PSEG Long Island prepares all year long to provide our customers with the best service possible during extreme conditions by updating and maintaining the electric infrastructure,” said John O’Connell, vice president of Transmission and Distribution Operations, PSEG Long Island. “There has been a shift in weather patterns over the last few years toward higher temperatures. It is also important for families to plan for high heat and personal safety.”

During extreme heat conditions, customers should:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors. Dark colors absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, “on average, extreme heat has killed more people in the last 10 years than any other weather phenomena.” The NWS encourages people to remember the acronym HEAT – Hydrate. Educate yourself. Act quickly. Take it easy.

Customers on qualifying life-support equipment can register for the PSEG Long Island Critical Care Program to receive enhanced notifications from the company. During severe weather, registered customers will receive additional outreach from PSEG Long Island. Customers who rely on such equipment are responsible for planning ahead to meet medical needs in the event of a power outage. If power is lost, every effort will be made to restore it as soon as possible. Participation in the Critical Care Program does not guarantee priority power restoration. To register call 1-800-490-0025.

High temperatures can also lead to higher energy use, resulting in higher electric bills. To help save energy and money this summer, PSEG Long Island offers the following tips to customers:

  • Do not cool an empty house. Set your thermostat higher when you are away, or use a smart thermostat to control the temperature in your home. Customers can receive an incentive on qualifying thermostats for enrolling in PSEG Long Island’s Smart Savers Thermostat program, which can be used to control usage during peak summer days. Visit https://www.psegliny.com/efficiency for more details.
  • Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows with caulk or weather-stripping.
  • Replace air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder.
  • Operate appliances in the morning or evening when it is cooler outside.
  • Set refrigerators and freezers to the most efficient temperatures.
  • Replace old appliances with new energy efficient ENERGY STAR® appliances.
  • Close blinds and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat.
  • Ceiling fans cool fast and cost less than air conditioning. (In hot weather, set your ceiling fan to spin quickly, counterclockwise to push air downward toward the floor.).

Extreme temperatures and high electric demand can sometimes cause scattered, heat-related outages. Customers can prepare by keeping PSEG Long Island’s contact information handy. During extreme heat, PSEG Long Island will have additional personnel available to address outages safely and as quickly as possible.

Stay connected:

  • Download the PSEG Long Island mobile app to report outages and receive information on restoration times, crew locations and more.
  • Report an outage and receive status updates by texting OUT to PSEGLI (773454). You can also report your outage through PSEG Long Island’s app, its website at www.psegliny.com/outages or with your voice using the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app on your smartphone.
  • To report an outage or downed wire call PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour Electric Service number: 800-490-0075.
  • Follow PSEG Long Island on Facebook and Twitter to report an outage and for updates before, during and after the storm.
  • Visit PSEG Long Island’s MyPower map for the latest in outage info, restoration times and crew locations across Long Island and the Rockaways at https://mypowermap.psegliny.com/.

PSEG Long Island energy efficiency programs provide residential and commercial customers with tools to lower energy use and save money. For information on PSEG Long Island energy saving programs and tips visit https://www.psegliny.com/savemoney.

What do buying a new home and hurricane season have in common?

Buy a new home recently; maybe you’re first home? Bet while you’re picking out furniture and envisioning your completed home you didn’t stop to think about … hurricane season. It may not be the first thing on your mind, but it is important to know how to prepare yourself and your new home.

Hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts through November. Check out these ways you can prepare.

Get to know your utility company

PSEG Long Island always is here for you, to keep the lights in your home on. In the chance of a strong storm or hurricane that may knock out your power, we offer five ways to report outages.

  1. Download PSEG Long Island’s mobile app for Android or Apple devices, which allows customers to manage their accounts on the go.
  2. Just say … “Hey Alexa” or “Hey Google!” Both of these voice technologies allow you to report your outage (and do other fun things) via the apps on your smartphone.
  3. Sign up for My Account to report power outages, pay your bill online, schedule service appointments, live chat, email us and more. Visit psegliny.com/myaccount to get started.
  4. Sign up for MyAlerts to report outages via text. It also allows us to get in touch with you when storms are on their way and send updates about the status of your outage. And that’s not all, you can pay your bill, receive bill reminders and check your account via text, too.
  5. Not tech savvy? There’s always the option to speak with a live representative or report through our automated prompts when you give us a call at 1-800-490-0025.

You also can follow us on Facebook, @PSEGLI, and Twitter, @PSEGLI, for the latest storm updates, news, tips and more!


Get to know your property

Strong winds and storms can take down tree branches, bringing utility lines with them. While we travel our communities pruning trees to avoid power interruptions, we ask that you also do your part to help keep the lines safe. If you are looking to plant new trees, plant the right tree in the right place. Check out our guide to learn what trees require less pruning, provide energy efficiency for your home and are safe near our utility lines.

We work hard year round to keep power on, but you always should be prepared in case power goes out. If you plan to use a generator, now is a good time to test it out and learn where the best placement is. Never run a generator in an enclosed space like your home or garage, as it can cause carbon monoxide build up. Check out our website or more info on generator safety.

Get to know your neighbors

Storms happen, whether you are home or not. Now is a good time to get to know your neighbors and exchange information so that you can help each other in the event of an emergency. If power goes out and you’re not home, they can notify you. With that said, never assume someone else has reported the outage, always report an outage as soon as you can.

Take a look at flood zone maps

Flood waters often conceal hazards that are not immediately obvious – and some of them can be deadly. If you notice your property beginning to flood, unplug all appliances and shut off the natural gas supply valve to any gas appliances – but be sure to do so before there’s any water touching them. Pools of water may become electrically charged. Appliances in standing water also may become charged, so do not touch them after they have become surrounded by water. If you are leaving your house during a flood, remember that all downed power lines are dangerous and should be avoided. Stay at least 30 feet away from all downed wires and keep others from going near them, as well. Also avoid everything that may be touching the downed wires, utility pole or water surrounding them.  Log in to My Account or call 1-800-490-0025 or 911 immediately to to report downed wires . Once water recedes, if the natural gas was shut off at the meter, do not try to turn it back on yourself.

National Electrical Safety Month: Making Room for Safety

Portrait Of Family With Baby Son At Home Outdoors In Garden

Electricity is a safe and reliable form of energy. However, it can be dangerous if not treated properly. The following is a checklist of items that you can use throughout your home to help protect your family.

Whole house

  • Make sure lightbulbs are the appropriate wattage for all fixtures.
  • If small children are present, install covers on all unused outlets.
  • Keep electrical cords away from foot traffic, and make sure they’re not covered by rugs or furniture.
  • Don’t use extension cords on a long-term basis.
  • Avoid plugging multiple devices into one outlet.
  • All 15 and 20 amp circuit breakers in your electrical panel should have arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) capability to protect electrical wiring and your house from fire due to arcing.

Bathrooms

  • Never use electrical devices, such as radios or hair dryers, when the bathtub is being used.
  • Install only ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets in the bathroom. GFCIs protect people from shock hazard.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.

Kitchen

  • Unplug countertop appliances when not in use.
  • Locate appliance cords away from heat sources, such as the stove or range.
  • Make sure all kitchen outlets are GFCI protected.

Bedrooms

  • Avoid drinking liquid when using an electric blanket or heating pad.
  • Don’t cover an electric blanket when in use.
  • Make sure electric blankets are in good condition; check for cracks or breaks in electrical cords.
  • Turn off electric blankets and heating pads when not in use if they don’t have a timer.

Basement

  • Keep the electrical panel free from obstructions, and make sure your hands and the floor are dry before touching the panel.
  • Install GFCI protection in outlets located near clothes washers or wash tubs, or all outlets if it’s damp.
  • Place portable heaters and dehumidifiers on a stable and level surface, at least 3 feet from walls and other objects.

Outdoors

  • Install watertight covers on all outlets that protect the outlet even with a cord plugged in.
  • Make sure all outdoor outlets are GFCI protected.
  • Make sure power tools are in good condition and wires aren’t cracked or frayed.
  • Store power tools indoors to keep them from being damaged by water or excessive heat.
  • When working outdoors, use only weather-resistant extension cords marked for outdoor use.
  • Power lines may be underground as well. Before digging, call 811 to have utility lines marked.

These tips are for informational purposes only and aren’t meant to supersede state or local building codes. Contact your local building inspector for information regarding requirements in your area. Remember that common sense and good safety habits are the best protection against electrical hazards.

keep you, your family and your home safe, please visit Energy Safety & Reliability – PSEG Long Island (psegliny.com).

6 Ways to Green Your Business

Steps to Sustainability

Your business activities can leave a big impression on the environment. Bring your environmental footprint down to size by following these strategies:

1. Use energy more efficiently. Start simple; turn off lights and equipment when they’re not being used. Next, hire a qualified professional to perform an energy audit of your business to target the most effective energy-saving measures. Upgrading water heating and HVAC systems are usually your best bets for improving the energy efficiency of your business.

2. Conserve water. It takes a lot of energy to heat the water used in your facility. By using less water, you’ll be helping to conserve two precious resources. Install water-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators. Reduce water temperatures to no more than 120°F and repair leaks quickly. If your facility has a high demand for hot water, consider heat recovery from waste fluids to heat or preheat water.

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Your environmental footprint goes beyond your walls. The materials and equipment used in your business are produced somewhere else and shipped to your location, all of which impacts the environment. Look for ways to use less; it could be something as simple as printing on both sides of the paper or preventive maintenance to extend equipment life. Establish a company-wide recycling program.

4. Travel smarter. Employees driving to and from work produce a substantial amount of air pollution. Encourage (or subsidize) employees to use public transportation or organize carpools and allow employees to work from home whenever possible. Minimize business travel through web conferencing, email and other low-emission communications. Use fleet vehicles only when needed and look for fuel-efficient models. Natural gas vehicles provide an efficient and cleaner burning alternative.

5. Near-source. All businesses require resources to function, whether it’s office supplies or raw materials for manufacturing. Transporting these resources to your door uses energy and creates emissions. Near-sourcing—using vendors close to your business—can reduce your environmental impact and may save you money as well.

6. Ship goods more efficiently. If your business delivers products, ship sustainably. Ground shipments, by rail or truck, are more fuel-efficient than shipping by air; fewer, large shipments will use less fuel than frequent light loads. If you don’t have enough goods for full shipments, consider teaming up with other local businesses.

In a competitive market, these and other sustainable measures can help make your business stand out from the crowd.

For additional ways to save money and energy, visit our dedicated small business rebates section here.

Reducing Waste Around Your Home

American households generate about 250 million tons of trash a year, an average of 4.4 pounds per person each day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Much of this waste ends up in landfills, where it leads to a host of environmental problems.

What can you do to help? Start by finding ways to reduce waste in your own home. It’s not only good for the environment, but it might save you money as well. The following are some practical steps to take.

Reduce. The best way to start reducing waste is to avoid collecting things you don’t need. Ask yourself if you have the time for all of the newspapers, catalogs and magazines you subscribe to. Check out books from the local library instead of purchasing them. If you take a good look around your home and at your buying habits, you can probably find numerous things you can easily do without.

Reuse. Reusing items instead of throwing them away will substantially reduce your household waste. Old towels and clothing make great rags for cleaning. Wash and reuse glass and plastic jars, milk jugs and other containers. Look for other creative ways to make use of things that otherwise would end up in the trash.

Maintain and repair. Purchase quality furniture, clothing and appliances that will stand the test of time. Maintaining appliances and equipment according to manufacturer’s guidelines will help extend their life. Repair equipment and mend clothing, shoes, handbags and other household items whenever possible.

Minimize packaging. Buy items with little or no packaging, or with refillable containers. Purchase goods in bulk or in concentrated form — such as concentrated laundry detergent.

Recycle. Give old clothing and other household items in good condition to a local charitable organization. Recycle other items — such as newspapers or magazines — you can’t find a use for. If your community doesn’t have a recycling program, consider starting one.

Buy recycled. Close the loop by looking for products with recycled content, including glass, paper, metal and plastic. You can also find furniture, tools and building materials made from recycled products. Labels should indicate whether recycled content is pre-consumer or post-consumer. Pre-consumer is waste from a manufacturing process, whereas post-consumer waste is collected from recycling programs.

Conserve energy. Energy is a precious resource that shouldn’t be wasted. Little things can make a big difference. Turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use and adjust the thermostat at night or when you are not at home. Consider installing solar water heaters or geothermal heat pumps that use renewable energy from the sun and earth.

Powering our company with diversity, equity and inclusion

What is diversity, equity and inclusion, and what does it mean to PSEG? Diversity, equity and inclusion are among our company’s Core Commitments, and we spoke with Janeen Johnson, PSEG’s enterprise DEI manager, to learn more.

What is DEI?

Johnson: The concept of DEI has three components: diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity is about strategically creating opportunities across all demographics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability status. Inclusion is about creating experiences that cause people to feel empathy toward one another – reducing fear responses and enabling stronger teams, which bring innovation and invaluable insight. However, the most important component to me is equity. Equity is the process by which people experience a redistribution of access, opportunity and resources necessary to offset the impact of historical discrimination.

What is a DEI manager?

Johnson: As the enterprise DEI manager, I am responsible for developing strategies and facilitating programming that drive positive culture change and workplace behaviors.

Did you join PSEG originally to fill this role?

Johnson: No, in fact I started my career with PSEG as an executive assistant. I joined the PSEG family in March of 2014 as an employee of PSEG Long Island, which is the dedicated electric service provider to the people living on Long Island and the Rockaways in New York. As my professional interests evolved, the company’s tuition reimbursement program enabled me to pay for a diversity and inclusion professional certification from Cornell University. Later, when PSEG Long Island posted a full-time job opportunity for a newly defined DEI manager position, I applied for the role. It was a very competitive process, but thankfully, I was awarded the opportunity in November 2018. I served as the dedicated Long Island DEI resource for two years, and in November of 2020 I applied for the enterprise-wide DEI manager position.

What do you think separates PSEG’s company culture from other companies?

Johnson: PSEG’s commitment to DEI extends much deeper than performance metrics. It is built into our culture. Metrics are certainly important – without data, you don’t have accountability, and without accountability, you don’t have change. But while some companies are satisfied with simply meeting metrics compliant with Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity law, PSEG does not believe that is enough to attract top talent. Our approach starts at the interview level. We call this our “diverse candidate slate.” It’s about having applicants that represent the diverse communities we serve, but it’s also about having interviewers that represent those diverse communities. As our applicants get closer to the job offer from PSEG, they are seeing people who look like them, and are able to ask questions to ensure that they are presenting the best version of themselves in the interview process. We also embrace the fact that not everybody enters the workplace the same way. In a remote work environment, different people, especially those living with disabilities, have different needs. Our hiring managers are trained to ask candidates the questions that will enable us to provide them with the tools they need to get the job done starting on day one.  

Come back soon for part two of our interview with Johnson when will talk more about what PSEG is doing to ensure that everyone has the best workplace experience; most common misconception about diversity, equity and inclusion; and whether or not DEI differs across generations.

Women in STEM Spotlight

March is Women’s History Month, what better way to celebrate than honoring women who have made significant contributions in history? Today, we are spotlighting a former Secretary of Energy and an engineer .

Hazel O’Leary– Prior to becoming the first African American woman to serve as the Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary led an impressive career in law. The honorable Hazel O’Leary attended Fisk University and the Rutgers School of Law, going on to become a New Jersey prosecutor and assistant attorney general. During President Carter’s time in office O’Leary served as assistant administrator for the Economic Regulatory Commission, general counsel of the Community Servies Administration, and an administrator for the Economic Regulatory Commission of the newly created Department of Energy. In 1993 O’Leary was nominated by President Clinton and became the seventh United States Secretary of Energy. During her term she encouraged the Clinton administration to end nuclear testing in the United States.

Beatrice Hicks– Using her educational background in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and physics Hicks became the first woman engineer to be hired at Western Electric Company. Hicks pioneered in the theoretical study, analysis development and manufacturing of sensing devices. Hicks patented a molecular density scanner and developed an industry model for quality control procedures. In 1955, she was named president of Newark Controls, Inc., a company founded by her father that manufactured environmental sensing equipment that was later utilized in the space program.  She was also chosen to be the first president of the recently organized Society of Women Engineers, consisting, at the time, of 60 members.