Staying Safe in Ice and Snow

Living on Long Island or in the Rockaways, you know all too well that winter will always  present several challenges. From removing snow and ice to dressing appropriately and avoiding falls, winter safety should always be top of mind. Stay safe and warm this season with the following tips.

To stay warm:

  • Cover every part of your body — including your face — and wear layers of loose-fitting clothing to protect against frostbite and hypothermia. In cold weather, your body actually loses heat faster than it can produce it.
  • Stay inside when temperatures are dangerously cold. And remember that certain people are at higher risk than others, especially the elderly.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for any person whose body temperature falls below 95°F.

To get around safely:

  • Wear sensible footwear when streets and sidewalks are snow-covered and icy. Flat-soled shoes with treads — not smooth soles — make it easier to plant your entire foot securely on the surface, which improves balance. Water-resistant boots designed to protect your feet from the cold are also a good choice.
  • Walk slowly and take shorter steps in icy, snowy conditions. This allows for adequate reaction time if you suddenly encounter a slippery patch of pavement.
  • Wear bright clothing so others can see you in wintry conditions. Something as simple as a colorful scarf or hat can make a big difference.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. When walking, always look ahead to anticipate any change in conditions, such as a patch of ice or uneven pavement. Avoid using headphones that block out the sound of oncoming vehicles — especially snow plows.

To remove ice and snow:

  • Take time to stretch before you start to shovel snow. This helps prevent injury, especially because you’ll be using muscles that may have been inactive for a while.
  • Clear the snow a little bit at a time. It may seem sensible to wait until the snow is done falling to clear it away, but that actually makes it more difficult. Instead, try to stay ahead of the snowfall by shoveling every couple inches.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. A better approach is to push the snow off to the side because it requires less exertion, and that means less stress on your body.
  • Take water breaks. Just as you would during any physical activity, it helps you stay adequately hydrated. Periodic rests are a must, especially if you’re not accustomed to this type of intense activity.
  • Use a shovel with a long arm and a blade that’s somewhat flat. It will be easier on your back. Lifting heavy snow is never a good idea, but if you must, bend at the knees and let your legs do the work.

This winter, avoid accidents and stay warm by heeding these tips for staying safe in icy, snowy conditions.

How to use a generator safely

The storm outside is bad, the wind is howling and suddenly your power goes out. Thankfully, you have a gasoline-powered generator. However, will you use it safely?

Surprisingly, most carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths and illnesses occur during the winter, the majority due to improper use of gas generators. These generators can cause CO— an odorless, colorless gas — to build up in your home, poisoning those inside. Don’t become a statistic.

Using a gasoline-powered generator safely can be as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. NEVER use a generator INSIDE your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  2. USE generators and any gas-powered equipment OUTSIDE, at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents.
  3. INSTALL a battery-operated CO DETECTOR in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. Be sure to change the batteries in the spring and fall. (Helpful hint: Change them when you move your clocks ahead and back.)

Safety Tips

What are the signs of CO poisoning?
Even by following these guidelines, incidents can occur. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of CO poisoning:

  • Headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning, get to fresh air right away and immediately call 9-1-1. Do not reenter the area until it is deemed safe by emergency responders.

So the next time you pull out a gasoline-powered generator, keep these tips in mind. It could save a life.

When will my power come back?

When the power is out, you want to know one thing – when’s it coming back?

When you report an outage to PSEG Long Island, you will receive a system-generated Estimated Time of Restoration (ETR) based on historical outage data. These estimates typically range from two to eight hours. As more information becomes available, we may update your ETR. Restoration times depend on many factors including the type of damage, the type of restoration needed and the order of restoration.

How does PSEG Long Island restore power?

During a widespread outage, there are certain places that must be restored first. Places such as power plants, substations, hospitals, police and fire stations as well as water and sewage treatment facilities. Once those high focus locations are back up and running, our crews are sent to the locations that can get the most customers back on in the shortest period of time. Here is our four-step process:

STEP ONE: High-Voltage Transmission and Substations
STEP TWO: Critical and Vital Public Services
STEP THREE: Greatest Number of Customers
STEP FOUR: Individual Homes and Businesses


We continue to work 24/7 to restore power to neighborhoods and individual homes or businesses until the power’s back for everyone.

What is backyard restoration?

Ever wonder why your restoration times are longer than others? It may be because your home requires backyard restoration. Speedy restoration depends on where our utility poles are placed. In most cases they run along the street so our bucket trucks can easily reach them. In some cases the power lines and utility poles are in your backyard. When poles are in backyards, the restoration process is very labor-intensive. Our crews have to climb the poles and if we have to replace a pole we have to order special equipment. While restorations may take longer, just know that we are working hard until your power is back up and running.

What is a nested outage?

Have you ever received notice from us that your power has been restored when your power was still out? That’s because our crews restored the whole neighborhood, but your house is experiencing what we call a nested outage. A nested outage is a more localized issue, whether it be a blown fuse or a tree hanging on your homes direct power line. We are not aware of all nested outages, which is why it is important that you respond to us saying that your power is still out.

Staying Connected

Losing your power during a winter storm

The cold weather is here, and with it comes snow storms and other extreme weather. PSEG Long Island prepares year-round to keep your power on, even when challenged by storms, yet there are two important things you can do. First, prepare before a storm hits (read our storm safety tips) and secondly, know what to expect from PSEG Long Island if you do lose power.

If You Lose Power

If you lose power, report the outage – every time. Don’t assume we know your power is out even if you see a crew working in your area. The sooner you report the outage, the sooner we can schedule it for repair. You can find estimated restoration times for your area by using the MyPower map.

When you lose power, even if you realize we’re working as safely and quickly as possible to restore it, you may grow impatient or frustrated by the wait. It’s helpful to understand our power restoration process and why some take longer than others.

Safety first

Safety is one of our highest priorities. As such we cannot permit PSEG Long Island lineworkers to use bucket trucks, which assist in reaching overhead wires, when there are high winds. Sometimes our crews cannot get to our equipment due to other factors – some of which are obvious, such as a tree blocking a road, while others may not be – such as a downed wire that remains energized. Working during storms is dangerous, and our crews rely upon safety protocols and procedures and regular training to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

Please don’t get upset if you see an employee or crew “standing around” as they are likely awaiting safety clearance.

During a widespread outage, it makes sense first to restore high-priority facilities that serve many others including: hospitals, police and fire stations, power plants, substations and water and sewage treatment facilities. Next, our crews are sent to the locations that can get the most customers back on in the shortest period of time.

Backyard restoration

Speedy restoration also depends on where our utility poles are placed. In most cases they run along the street so our bucket trucks can easily reach them. In some cases the power lines and utility poles are in your backyard. When poles are in backyards, the restoration process is labor-intensive. Our crews have to climb the poles and if we have to replace a pole we have to order special equipment. While restorations may take longer, just know that we are working hard until your power is back up and running.

Nested outages

Have you ever received notice from us that your power has been restored when your power was still out? That’s because our crews restored the whole neighborhood, but your house is experiencing what we call a ‘nested outage.’ A nested outage is a more localized issue, which means there is likely equipment failure right at your house — whether it be a blown fuse or a tree hanging on your home’s direct power line. We are not aware of all nested outages, so it is important that you respond to us saying that your power is still out.

Mutual aid assistance

Our goal is to restore service as safely and quickly as possible, which is why we participate in a network of mutual aid. Mutual aid allows us to request skilled help from other New Jersey providers and from utilities all over North America. While crews dealing with similar circumstances, such as the effects of a major storm, may not be available, we call for mutual aid when we know the damage may take days to restore – to give other crews time to travel to us.

A note about the pandemic

The safety of PSEG Long Island’s customers and employees is our top priority. We ask that customers remain in their homes while crews are working nearby. If customers must speak with our crews, we ask that they practice responsible “physical distancing” and remain at least 6 feet away to ensure the health of everyone involved. For more information about how PSEG Long Island continues to live up to its commitments during the pandemic, please visit: https://www.psegliny.com/safetyandreliability/safetytips/coronavirus.

How to use space heaters safely!

If it’s frigid outside, you may opt for alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, generators and other appliances. Protecting the safety of our customers, employees and communities always is PSEG Long Island’s top priority. Please use extra caution while using any heating appliance to avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be life-threatening.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these tips for safely using space heaters:

  1. Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  2. To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.
  3. Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features; older space heaters may not meet the newer safety standards. An unvented gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
  4. Make sure your heater is correctly rated for your home. An oversized heater could deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be produced. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch and keep doors open to the rest of the house to ensure proper ventilation. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.
  6. Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.
  7. Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could overheat or generate excessive carbon monoxide.
  8. Be aware that manufactured homes require specially-designed heating equipment.
  9. Do not use unvented gas space heaters where prohibited by local codes.
  10. Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house, inside every bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. In addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.

Please share this information – you may help save a life. 

Happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day!

It’s a new year, and in recognition of National Cut Your Energy Costs Day – Jan. 10 – We are sharing tips for customers to save money and reduce their energy consumption every day of the year.

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day was launched to encourage consumers to explore energy- saving opportunities. In the past eight years, since PSEG Long Island was established, business and residential customers throughout Long Island and the Rockaways have done just that. More than $380 million in rebates have been distributed to customers through PSEG Long Island’s energy efficiency programs. That’s a savings of more than 2.1 billion kilowatts of energy since 2014 – and enough electricity to power more than 270,000 homes for an entire year.

These tips can help customers save money and energy any time of year:

  • Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs since, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for about 15% of the electricity used in the home, and LEDs use approximately 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer.
  • Reduce “phantom power” by using energy efficient power strips or unplugging electronic devices when they’re not in use. Items plugged into outlets use electricity even when they’re turned off.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically manage your home’s heating and cooling needs. ENERGY STAR estimates that properly used programmable thermostats can save about $180 a year. In addition, PSEG Long Island offers rebates on smart thermostats.
  • Lower your thermostat by just one degree to potentially reduce your heating bill up to 3%. Lowering it two degrees during the day and five to 10 degrees at night will save even more.
  • Install timers and motion detectors to automatically manage indoor and outdoor lighting and help ensure lights are not on when they’re not needed.
  • Ceiling fans can be used to save energy in winter. Setting a fan to rotate clockwise on low pulls cool air toward the ceiling, pushing warm air down into a room.
  • Seal windows and doorframes with weather stripping or caulk, and remove or cover window air conditioners to help to prevent drafts that waste energy and money.
  • Install a high efficiency air source heat pump (ASHP) to lower energy usage, save money and provide greater comfort in cold and hot months. Robust rebates are available from PSEG Long Island’s Home Comfort Program for ducted ASHP units, ducted geothermal heat pumps and ductless mini split systems. Additionally, PSEG Long Island’s Home Comfort PLUS program offers enhanced rebates for customers who meet certain income qualifications.
  • More money-saving ideas and rebate information are available at https://www.psegliny.com/saveenergyandmoney/energystarrebates.

Independent annual evaluations by Demand Side Analytics (DSA) have found PSEG Long Island’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to be cost-effective and energy-saving. DSA’s 2020 evaluation showed that PSEG Long Island Energy Efficiency Program, including rebates, generated $1.74 in benefits to society for every $1 in costs to operate the program.

For additional information, visit: https://www.psegliny.com/efficiency. Join the conversation online using the hashtag: #CutYourEnergyCostsDay.

6 Resolutions for a Greener New Year

Are you looking to save energy and live more sustainably? The New Year is the perfect time to start fresh. With these resolutions, you can make some simple changes to your lifestyle that will have a positive impact on your energy bill and the environment.

1. Use less energy. Start simple: turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them. Next, adjust the thermostat when you’re not at home to save energy. A Wi-Fi programmable thermostat is a low-cost upgrade that can optimize savings and add convenience. Light maintenance helps as well, like changing your furnace filter regularly to improve heating and cooling system efficiency.

2. Make your home more energy efficient. Start with lighting. Upgrade to LEDs, which use up to 80% less energy and last far longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. Check for air leaks in exterior doors and windows and seal with weatherstripping or caulk. Contact a qualified professional to conduct an energy audit of your home. You’ll receive a customized set of recommendations that will optimize efficiency and comfort.

3. Buy green. Think about what you’re purchasing. Do you really need it? If you do buy, select products and packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials.

4. Reuse and recycle. Don’t just throw things away; find ways to reuse them. Examples include boxes for storage and old clothing as rags. Separate waste — such as cans, bottles and plastic — and recycle them.

5. Eat local and organic. Organic foods are produced using sustainable practices and local foods reduce transportation and storage. Look for organic food at the grocery store, and visit your local farmer’s market.

6. Use water wisely. Clean water isn’t an infinite resource. Use less by taking shorter showers and only running your dishwasher and clothes washer when you have a full load. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep, but stick with it. The lower energy bills, combined with the knowledge your actions are making a difference, should be enough to keep you going all year long. Check out our MySmartEnergy portal to see what changes you can make in your home to get started on saving!

This Year Celebrate Energy Savings: 10 Ways to be Energy Efficient this Holiday Season

Home energy use can increase during the holiday season with travel, holiday gatherings and seasonal decorations. But you don’t have to be a Scrooge to conserve energy, save money and help the environment as you celebrate the season. Here’s a list of 10 simple ways to cut holiday home energy use (and yes, we checked it twice.)

1. Unplug electronics before leaving town: TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Disconnect these phantom energy users before traveling for the holidays, or switch to a smart power strip that does the job for you.

2. Lower the thermostat when guests arrive: When the party starts, turn down the heat while holiday cooking and extra warm bodies automatically raise the temperature in your home.

3. Bake several dishes at once: Take advantage of the energy that goes into warming your oven by baking as many dishes at once as possible.

4. Avoid preheating when possible: Anything that needs to be baked or roasted for more than an hour doesn’t need to be put into a preheated oven. You can also save by turning the oven off 10 or 15 minutes before the dish is done.

5. Close the fireplace damper when the fire is off: Leaving it open allows warm air to escape out of the chimney.

6. Turn room lighting off when the tree is lit: You’ll have plenty of light simply by using Christmas tree lighting to illuminate the room. And your tree will look better than ever.

7. Use LED holiday lights and put them on a timer: Set the timer to turn lights on when it gets dark and off at bedtime. Aim to keep holiday lights on for less than six hours a day.

8. Upgrade to a smart thermostat: An Energy Star®* smart thermostat can help you save up to $50 a year† on energy costs while keeping your home comfortable.

9. Let the sunshine in: Open draperies and shades during the day to let in the warming sunlight and close them at night to reduce chill and cut down on drafts.

10. Don your winter apparel: Stay warm at home with your favorite ugly sweater or the onesie pajamas you received as a gift last year to avoid turning up the heat.

For more energy-saving tips and deals on energy-saving products, visit the PSEG Long Island Marketplace.
To see how PSEG Long Island can help you save energy and money at home, visit https://www.psegliny.com/saveenergyandmoney/tipsandtools
*Source: ENERGY STAR® Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR® label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.
Source: EnergyStar.gov — Individual savings not guaranteed.

Get Smart With Your Gift List

Got any gadget lovers on your holiday gift list? These smart devices make great stocking stuffers. They’re not only fun to use, but they can help make life easier and more convenient. Some of them even save energy, too.

Connected thermostats

Programmable thermostats have been around for years, but today’s advanced models provide cool features, such as remote control, which can optimize savings and convenience. Some models even learn your habits and program themselves to fit your schedule. What could be easier than that?

Brighter bulbs

Smart bulbs can do a lot more than just light up a room. With a connected app, users can set a schedule for a smart bulb. The bulb can automatically turn on at a certain time to help with the morning wake up. When you’re away, it can be easily set to turn on and off to make it look like someone is home. Smart bulbs can also be tuned for specific tasks — cool light for reading or warm light for evening relaxation.

Advanced power strips

Many electronic devices continue using energy when they’re turned off or not in use, but unplugging them is a hassle. Lucky recipients on your gift list could plug those devices into an advanced power strip or smart plug, which save energy by automatically cutting off power to unused devices.

Smarter security

Smart tech is perfect for any security-minded folks on your gift list. With smart locks, they can lock or unlock their door from anywhere using a smartphone app, or they can set to automatically unlock when they’re close to home. Video doorbells allow users to answer the door from anywhere and keep track of deliveries remotely. For added security, these doorbells can sense movement outside your door, send alerts and keep video recordings.

Voice assistants

A voice assistant or smart speaker can help tie things all together. By connecting a smart speaker to other smart devices in the home, a user can easily control them with the sound of their voice. Imagine just saying, “Hey smart speaker, change the thermostat to 72°F” and having it just happen.

Savings, security, convenience and comfort — what great gifts for the people on your list!

Check out the latest deals on smart appliances in our online marketplace here.

Thanksgiving Meals: Your Recipe for Energy Savings

Thanksgiving meals are an important part of the celebrations you share with family and friends. All of that extra cooking and baking, however, can lead to a real post-season letdown after you see the added cost on your energy bill. These simple, cost-saving tips will help families across Long Island and the Rockaways enjoy the festivities while trimming their energy budget.

  • Preheat the oven to the exact temperature required; preheating is not necessary for foods that cook for several hours.
  • If you’ve got an oven window, take advantage of it! Opening the oven door wastes energy and lowers the temperature by as much as 25°F.
  • Glass and ceramic baking dishes retain heat better than metal. If you cook with glass or ceramic dishes, you can reduce the oven temperature by 25°F.
  • Conserve energy by baking several batches of cookies, or more than one pie, at a time.
  • For stovetop cooking, match the size of the pan to the size of the burner; using a small pan on a large burner wastes energy.
  • Keep pots and pans covered to prevent heat loss and reduce cooking time.
  • Clean burners after every use. A clean burner heats more efficiently, using less energy.

Slow cookers and toaster ovens are great for heating leftovers and use a lot less energy than conventional ovens and stoves. Microwave ovens also use 50% less energy than conventional ovens. To save energy, reheat holiday leftovers in the microwave instead of on the stove or in the oven.

Click here for more energy saving tips from PSEG Long Island.