Proud to Power Small Business on Long Island

PSEG Long Island knows that small businesses are the backbone of Long Island’s economy. More than that, they are the backbone of every individual community here in Nassau and Suffolk counties. That’s why PSEG Long Island continues to work hard to ensure that small businesses have the support they need by strengthening the electric system to withstand extreme weather, by improving storm preparations and communications, and by expanding customer service in new, business-centric ways.

Strengthening the infrastructure

Reliable electric service is fundamental to businesses of all sizes. PSEG Long Island has been making strategic infrastructure investments since 2014 to improve the system’s ability to withstand extreme weather. Since the implementation of the FEMA-funded storm-hardening program in 2014, PSEG Long Island has completed storm hardening and reliability work on more than 900 miles of distribution mainline circuits, including some that serve our downtown areas. Stormhardened circuits have seen a significant reduction in storm damage and 35% fewer outages. PSEG Long Island’s planners and engineers have focused on upgrading and building new transmission lines and substations, including projects to ensure that new developments in places like Plainview and Uniondale have safe, reliable electric services as shops open for business.

Here are just a few of the system improvements that have been made recently to increase electric capacity and reliability:

  • New transformers installed at substations to provide additional capacity during peak demand in

Elmont, Uniondale, Culloden Point, Roslyn, Far Rockaway and Flowerfield

  • Four new distribution feeder lines installed to accommodate load growth in Elmont, Uniondale, Roslyn and Flowerfield
  • Six distribution circuits upgraded to improve reliability in Kings Point, North Hills, Massapequa, Mitchel Gardens, Lake Success and Rockaway Beach
  • 37 transmission system circuit breakers added or replaced for enhanced system reliability
  • A new transmission circuit installed between the Riverhead and Canal substations
  • A transmission circuit upgraded between the Wildwood and Riverhead substations

Improved storm communication

PSEG Long Island also knows that communication during and after a storm is crucial for small businesses to keep revenue flowing and costs minimized. PSEG Long Island has improved and rigorously tested its communication technology since last year’s summer storm season.

The goal of these upgrades, as always, is to make communication better, easier and more accurate than ever before. PSEG Long Island encourages all of its business customers to take advantage of these tools.

  • MyAlerts: Signing up for MyAlerts allows customers to report an outage and get power restoration updates via cell phone. Business customers who already have MyAlerts should be sure to sign up with their cell phone numbers to receive information.
  • MyPower Map: Accessing the state-of-the-art outage map offers 24/7 real-time outage, crew and restoration information.
  • Storm Center: Visit the hub of storm information on the PSEG Long Island website at psegliny.com/stormcenter.

A personal approach to business customer service

Finally, PSEG Long Island knows that small businesses have unique needs. In the coming months, PSEG Long Island Business Customer Advocates will begin visiting individual businesses in commercial districts—making personal connections; sharing important information about rates, incentives, and energy assessments; and addressing specific issues that individual business owners are facing. The last 18 months have brought unprecedented levels of uncertainty to small businesses all across Long Island. Through it all, PSEG Long Island has been there for them. As they work to achieve a “new normal” in a post-pandemic world, PSEG Long Island will continue to find ways to help them thrive. For more information on the programs PSEG Long Island offers to small businesses, please visit PSEGLINY.com/business.

Are You and Your Business Prepared?

September is National Preparedness Month.  PSEG Long Island encourages its customers to take the necessary steps to safeguard their families, homes and businesses. Emergencies can happen at any time and preparing ahead of time helps keep everyone safe. PSEG Long Island reminds customers to “Prepare to Protect” yourself and those around you.

Facility security and emergency preparedness are critical issues. Although no amount of planning can stop all potential threats, it’s important to have steps in place to ensure the safety of your staff and facility in the event of an emergency. Proper planning also helps you resume operations more quickly and with fewer problems.

Secure your building and physical assets

Take the following precautions recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to protect your facility:

  • Install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in appropriate places.
  • Make sure emergency routes are clearly marked, along with critical utility information. Provide a copy of the information to firefighters and other first responders in the event of a disaster.
  • Keep copies of these documents, along with your emergency plan, readily available in an emergency supply kit.
  • Install automatic fire sprinklers, alarm systems, closed circuit TV, access control or other security systems if necessary.
  • Establish appropriate security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the facility.

Identify all essential equipment needed to keep your business open:

  • Develop a plan for repairing or replacing damaged equipment that’s vital to operations.
  • Identify more than one supplier who can replace or repair your equipment.
  • Store extra supplies, materials and equipment for use in an emergency.

Create an alternate plan in case an emergency renders your building inaccessible:

  • Determine whether your business can be run from a different location.
  • Initiate agreements with other organizations to use their facilities in case your location is inaccessible.
  • Identify and comply with all applicable codes and safety regulations.
  • Contact your insurance provider about the impact these precautions may have on your policy.

Staying in business during an outage

Your business depends on electricity, gas, telecommunications and other utilities. Although these services are generally reliable, outages can happen. Prepare for extended disruptions and install a backup generator to provide power during an outage.

Safety is critical. Operate generators safely according to manufacturer’s guidelines. Never connect generators to your electrical system; they can backfeed and endanger lineworkers. An automatic transfer switch, properly installed by a qualified electrician, can prevent the generator from sending electricity back through the transmission line.

Click here for more information and tips on how to keep your business prepared.

Back to School Means Safe Driving!

The end of summer means millions of children across the Island will be returning to school. It’s important to be extra cautious while driving as activity increases in school zones and large numbers of students are making their way to and from school. Follow these simple tips to help ensure that children reach school safely.

Driving in and around schools zones

  • Put away your cell phone. It’s a good idea no matter where you’re driving, but especially in school zones where children are gathered.
  • Always obey school zone speed limits until you’re safely out of the school zone.
  • Watch for children gathered around school buses or at crosswalks.
  • If your morning route takes you through a school zone, give yourself extra time so that you’re not rushed and taking unnecessary chances.
  • Drop off and pick up your children only in the school’s designated areas.
  • Keep an extra eye out for children in the late afternoon and early evening on school days. With extra curricular activities, many students travel home later in the day.

For children walking or biking to school

  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked vehicles.
  • Cross the street only at designated crosswalks. Look both left and right and left again before crossing.
  • If a driver is stopped, make eye contact before crossing.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear bike helmets when biking to school. Stay on sidewalks or biking lanes and obey all safety rules regarding crossing streets.

For more information and tips see Back to School Safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Room for Energy Savings: Laundry Room

In every room of your home, you can make room for savings. You can feel like a magician conjuring up energy efficiency in your laundry room.

Look at this ordinary incandescent bulb. Alakazam! Now it’s an LED. Voila! It also provides better light quality.

That old dryer — presto chango — it’s now a new ENERGY STAR® model with smart features that can sense when the clothes are dry.

Watch as I cut the cost for running this load in half. Abracadabra! Running full loads makes real dollars disappear from water and energy bills.

Behold! These balls hold powers. Throw them in the dryer and the clothes will dry quicker. Ta-da!

For my next trick, I’ll dry these clothes for free, using nothing but the air around me!

And that’s how you’ll feel when you find room for savings in your laundry room — almost like magic.

Check out all of our ENERGY STAR® rebates here!

What Makes Smart Appliances So Smart?

The term “smart appliance” has become a common catchphrase for the next generation of home appliances designed to reduce energy use and change the way we live. Major manufacturers have introduced new lines of smart appliance products, but what exactly is a smart appliance and how does it save energy?

The technology behind smart appliances

Two key concepts are important in understanding how smart appliances work — smart meters and time-of-use pricing.

Smart meters send detailed energy use data wirelessly at short intervals, allowing you to monitor and control your energy use in real time. Time-of-use pricing plans vary electric rates based on the time of day and the demand for electricity. Rates are higher during peak demand periods, typically in the afternoon and early evening, and lower late at night when demand is less.

Building on these concepts, the technology inside smart appliances allows you to control their energy use and costs. Microchips or controllers embedded in smart appliances enable them to communicate with smart meters or home automation systems, sending and receiving messages from mobile devices.

Smart appliance technology can also be integrated with sensors and other devices, which allow them to self-adjust and operate more efficiently.

Smart ways to save money

Smart appliances vary in functionality, but in a nutshell it works like this. The smart meter sends a signal to the appliance and the homeowner, notifying each when peak rates are in effect. The appliance is programmed to stop running or operate at a lower wattage during this period. The homeowner has the option to override this program.

How will this work in your home? Smart refrigerators can shift the defrost cycle to when it’s cheaper, or alert you if the door is ajar. Smart dishwashers air dry dishes automatically during peak periods and adjust the water temperature and cycle time to load size, cutting energy. Smart washing machines automatically default to the low-energy wash cycle when energy rates are higher.

Making your life easier

Smart appliances do more than just save energy; they come with features that can improve appliance performance and make your life easier. Refrigerator touchscreens can display food inventory levels, recipes and reminders, or even play online radio. Smart washing machines alert you if a load is off balance and let you know it’s finished. Your oven can text you when dinner is ready, and you can control the temperature remotely to keep food warm.

As with any newer technology, smart appliances may cost a little more. However, these brainy devices have the potential to make your home more energy efficient, and save you time and money.

Replacing old appliances can take a bite out of your budget. Recoup some of the cost with our rebates. Looking to upgrade to a smart home, we have a number of smart devices available on our online marketplace found online at http://www.energyfederation.org/psegliny/smart-home-1.html.

Ensuring the best workplace experience through DEI

What is PSEG doing to ensure that everyone has the best workplace experience? What is the most common misconception about diversity, equity and inclusion? Does DEI differ among generations? When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, there always is more to learn. We continue our series with Janeen Johnson, PSEG’s enterprise DEI manager, to learn the answers to these questions and more.

What is PSEG doing to ensure that everyone has the best workplace experience?

Johnson: PSEG prides itself on creating an inclusive workplace environment where employees feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. We have 14 Employee Business Resource Groups at PSEG comprising union and nonunion employees. These groups drive culture change for our workforce and our diverse customer base through cultural engagement events, learning and professional development opportunities and community service. We also have a DEI Council comprising 25 committed DEI champions from all lines of business, representing all levels of employment. From an individual contributor to the president and COO, these champions meet monthly to learn about various social issues impacting our culturally and ethnically diverse workforce. Their goal? To identify ways to support our strong safety culture through building employee engagement and empathy toward one another.

What is an EBRG?

Johnson: EBRGs are are groups of employees who voluntarily come together based on shared characteristics, life experiences and interests. These programs help enhance employee engagement and provide opportunities for networking, career development and community outreach. EBRGs also help to create a stronger company culture and provide an opportunity to build leadership and collaboration skills.

What do you think is the most common misconception about DEI, and how do you think it can be explained so people can move forward? Do you think that progress will be easy?

Johnson: One of the most common misconceptions is that if we do not belong to a diverse population, we are somehow wrong or irrelevant. Diversity does not mean “everybody except white men.” Diversity means everybody. Every single form of the human experience. The white male experience needs to be represented, too, because it also is a form of the human experience and is diverse in its own way. Everybody deserves the opportunity to come to the table and talk about how we all bring our best, authentic selves to the work we do and the customers we serve.

How do different generations perceive a concept like DEI?

Johnson: One of the demographics we have not yet spoken about is age. Every generation has a different way of looking at life based on life experience. What generation you fall into does have an impact on how you feel about diversity. Because of historic discrimination practices, you cannot talk about life experience without talking about history. Different individuals have experienced the past at different levels of engagement and different levels of privilege.

College graduates entering the workforce today were in high school when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

If we’re looking at things through the lens of civil rights, millennials were children in 1992 when apartheid was finally ended in South Africa. For them, it’s been the normal state of the world for there to be no prominent nation whose government formally segregates Black people and white people.

Many Gen-Xers came of age around the time that the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990, and it was the nation’s first civil rights law that included people with both physical and mental disabilities.

Many baby boomers were of childbearing age when the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down, ruling that the Constitution protects a woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction or the threat of harm to her well-being. Women exercising a legal right over their own bodies had never happened before 1973.

And our employees who are part of the Silent Generation may have been children when the court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling was handed down, banning racial segregation in public schools. For them, it’s normal that Black and white children should share the same classroom and learn the same lessons — even though that had not happened before that 1955 decision. So if you’re a new college graduate joining us at PSEG, you might look at the murder of George Floyd and say, “We live in a country where a Black man was president. Why are so many police encounters still fatal for Black people? Have we learned nothing?” Meanwhile, a member of the Silent Generation might say, “I can’t believe that, in my lifetime, this country has gone from barely tolerating integrated classrooms to holding a police officer accountable for murdering a Black man.” Each statement is a valid reaction based on a person’s life experience.

At PSEG, DEI means valuing our employees’ generational diversity. We strive to respect and honor our older voices while providing equity to some of the younger voices, who may not be our leaders today, but whose perspectives are crucial as we evolve into the company they will lead tomorrow.

Check out our first Q&A with Janeen Johnson to learn more about how DEI are part of our core commitments at PSEG.

What Are Your Home Cooling Habits?

Air conditioning is essential for comfort on hot summer days, but it’s also a big energy user. Despite this, a lot of households have some air conditioning habits that aren’t so cool, according to a U.S. Department of Energy survey. According to the survey:

  • 34 million households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there most of the time, whether someone is at home or not.
  • 74°F to 76°F is the most widely used air conditioning temperature setting range during the day, at night and when no one is at home.
  • 33% of U.S. households have air conditioning systems that are 10 years old or more. More than 7 million households have systems that are 20 years old or more.
  • 47% of households have a programmable thermostat, but only 13% actually program the thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures to save energy.

Saving energy while keeping your cool

If you’re among those households with some uncool cooling habits, here are some simple things you can do to save energy and stay comfortable all summer long.

  • Adjust the thermostat when your house is empty. Raising the temperature by just a few degrees on a daily basis can add up to big savings on your monthly energy bills.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and use it to optimize savings and comfort. Connected smart models provide advanced features, such as remote control and self programming.
  • Check for gaps around windows and exterior doors. Seal any that you find with caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Regularly replace your system’s air filter throughout the summer according manufacturer’s instructions. A dirty filter can reduce indoor air quality and system performance.

Have your air conditioning system cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional once a year before the start of the cooling season. If your system is older or in need of repair, replace it with a new ENERGY STAR®-certified model. ENERGY STAR systems are independently tested to use less energy than standard models while still providing the performance and comfort you expect.

Check out more ways to stay cool while saving energy with our 66 Ways to Save.

5 Ways to Save Energy in Your Yard

Summer is flying by. But there’s still time to get the backyard in order for the remainder of the summer and fall. Why not save energy and money in the process with these five easy tips:

  1. Use manual tools. Some yard work requires a motor. For those jobs that don’t, use hand tools instead. They’re quieter, don’t use energy and will still get the job done.
  2. Take control. Timers and motion sensors keep outdoor lights on when they’re needed and off when they’re not.
  3. Prime your pump. Solar pumps are a great way to help keep your fountain flowing without making a splash on your electric bill.
  4. Plant some savings. Planting leafy trees on the south, east and west sides of your home will provide cooling shade during hot weather. The real payoff will come in future years with lower summer energy bills and increased comfort.
  5. Switch to LEDs. LEDs are more efficient than conventional incandescents. They’re also more durable, last longer and respond better to temperature changes.

With these five measures, you can enjoy your outdoor space for the rest of the summer and all year long while using less energy.

Looking for more ways to save?
Purchasing a rechargeable lawn mower, blower, and/or weed trimmer can save you money while being beneficial to the environment! These powerful tools work to the same standards as their gas counterparts without producing greenhouse gas emissions. For rebates on these and other environmentally friendly products and appliances visit www.psegliny.com/savemoney 

Take Time to Save Energy Throughout Your Day

When you’re home for the day, your energy budget will likely be working a little harder than usual. Use these tips to make your day more energy efficient.

Go energy-lite on breakfast

Make a zero energy breakfast with overnight oats! When you clean up, scrape your dishes instead of rinsing them and load them into your dishwasher. Wait until you have a full load to run it to avoid wasting energy.

Control heat gain

In summer, close window treatments — such as curtains and shades — on south- and west-facing windows to reduce heat gain during the day. In winter, open those window treatments to bring that heat in, especially on south-facing windows.

Use ceiling fans

Run ceiling fans in occupied rooms. The moving air helps your skin feel cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. Turn off the fan once you leave the room. Reversing the fan’s direction in winter will help circulate warm air from the ceiling down into the room, improving the effectiveness of your heating system.

Let the sunlight in

Sure, you need to keep heat gain under control, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to bring in sunshine to light your home during the afternoon. Sunshine is the best-quality lighting available, it’s all natural and it’s free. What more could you ask for? If you need extra light on cloudy days or in your home office, use a small task lamp.

Upgrade for savings

  • WiFi programmable thermostats can help keep you comfortable and save energy based on your schedule. Smart models provide advanced features, such as remote control and self-programming.
  • Insulating window treatments — such as cellular shades and thermal curtains — can save energy and improve comfort during summer and winter.
  • ENERGY STAR®-certified LEDs use up to 75% less energy than standard bulbs and provide vivid task light for your home office and other areas.

With these simple measures, you can give your energy budget a little nap this afternoon and all year long.

Check out more ways to save energy with our 66 Ways to Save.

Our testing, drills are focused on the future

After months of open debate, discussion and review LIPA and PSEG Long Island have reached an agreement to enable PSEG Long Island to continue to operate Long Island’s energy grid under a newly revised contract. It comes at a critical time as tropical storms have already formed in the Atlantic and come up the coast, and the promise of more severe weather is in the long range forecast. Storm proofing, along with the need to provide uninterrupted power during peak summer demand, has PSEG Long Island at full alert.

Accordingly, we test, we re-test, and we drill. And, then we test again. We have taken the important lessons learned from last summer and turned them into meaningful action. As a result, we are ready for this year’s storm season.

We revamped our outage management system, and tested it under extreme scenarios simulating 90 percent of customers losing power, ensuring our digital dispatch system holds up in a crisis and can mobilize crews where and when they’re needed.

We improved our phone system to ensure that anyone experiencing an outage can get reliable information and report downed wires to us. We’ve worked to increase capacity so you can get through to us. Our latest stress test had us handling 150,000 calls per hour—more than we saw during the peak hour after Isaias—and the system held up well.

And now that we have a path forward with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), our incredible work force can be singularly focused on what they do best, keeping the lights on. These are the people I am honored to call colleagues.

We have deep roots in Long Island and have been proudly serving Long Island and the Rockaways for seven years, and steadily improving what matters for our 1.1 million customers.

And, I promise you, we want customers to see continuous improvement and innovation, year after year. We have programs to harden more lines in order to stand up to increasingly severe weather and prevent outages in the first place, to make it easier and less expensive for customers to buy electric vehicles, and to do our part to advance the adoption of renewable energy and conservation.

Most importantly, we’re here for those critical moments when severe, unexpected weather hits the region, and customers need us the most.

We have big challenges ahead—and the partnership between PSEG Long Island and the people of Long Island is the right one to meet the moment. That’s true for the long-term, but also right now as storm season is upon us.

Daniel Eichhorn, President and Chief Operating Officer of PSEG Long Island

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LONG ISLAND BUSINESS NEWS I July 30-August 5, 2021 I LIBN.COM