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.

PSEG Long Island Recognizes Annual Scams Awareness Day

As a member of Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), PSEG Long Island is proud to recognize and to highlight the sixth annual Utility Scams Awareness Day on November 17. This year’s campaign – ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’ – focuses on utility impostor scam calls and the advanced tactics that are being used to target customers. Since the pandemic began, the number of scams has escalated, and scammers have increased their efforts to take advantage of utility customers and the financial challenges that many have faced.

Customers should know that utilities will never call to demand immediate payment, and they will never ask for personal information over the phone. Utilities also will never ask customers to pay their bills with pre-paid cards, crypto currencies, or by using third-party payment apps.

If you receive a suspicious call from a possible scammer, please remember the following tips:

  • Slow down. Scammers typically try to rush customers and will ask for personal information and immediate payment.
  • Verify. Scammers often pose as utility company employees. If the scammer is on the phone, make sure they can verify they are with the utility or can verify your account information. If you are unsure, hang up and contact the utility directly by using the information on your most recent bill or the utility’s website.
  • Stop before you act. Think about the information the caller is asking of you. If it seems unsafe or incorrect, rethink the situation and ask questions. 

Please remember that utility scammers can be extremely sophisticated, and they often use strategies that can make customers believe they are not an impostor. Here are few common scams and tips for customers to protect themselves:

  • Scammers often threaten immediate service disconnections. They ask for personal information or demand payments to prevent service interruptions.
  • Scammers have been taking advantage of increased online activities during the pandemic. They are asking for payments over the phone by using digital payment apps, cryptocurrencies, or direct transactions with banking institutions.
  • Scammers are using tactics to prey on households with tight budgets. Scammers will inform customers that they have overpaid utility bills and are due a refund, but first they need to provide their banking information to process the refund. They also may claim that immediate bill payment will result in a discount or that a charitable donation can be made in exchange for a lesser bill payment.
  • Scammers also are posing as utility employees by claiming the number on the caller ID does not match the utility’s phone number due to the company’s COVID-19 remote work policies.

It is important for utility customers to understand the types of threats that exist and to remember that anyone can be targeted. Utilities and customers must continue to be vigilant and to raise awareness. Together, we can #StopScams.

Visit our scam alerts  website or the  Utilities United Against Scams website for more information, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and on Facebook for additional tips and alerts.

Supporting Employees with Disabilities

PSEG is honored to be recognized by the National Organization on Disability as one of its 2021 Leading Disability Employers. This distinction highlights companies that measure and achieve strong talent outcomes for people with disabilities. We are grateful to receive the award, which reinforces our commitment to foster a culture of belonging and equity for all employees.

But we are not done. Learn more about our efforts to continue to work to ensure accessible practices, policies and technologies are in place, and to provide the accommodations and support employees with disabilities need to succeed at PSEG in the video below featuring JoAnn Koon-Smith, manager of strategic sourcing, EEO and accessibility programs.

#NationalDisabilityEmploymentAwarenessMonth #Ndeam

Have a Safe and Successful Halloween

Don’t let your ghoulish activities celebrating Halloween turn into a real fright. On average, 770 home fires begin with holiday decorations each year.

“Halloween is a cherished time of spooky thrills and neighborly bonding,” said Bill Urbanski, Health & Safety coordinator, Electric Operations, “Always think safety first. Don’t decorate near power lines nor release Mylar balloons or kites where they can get caught in power lines.”

Follow these top 10 tips to help keep your home and neighborhood safe during the holiday:

  1. Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks.
    Candles start more than one third of home decoration fires. If you do use flame candles, do not leave them unattended; remember to blow them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.
  2. Choose costumes that do not have long, trailing fabric.
    Not only is long, trailing fabric a trip hazard, it can catch or tangle in other decorations and extension cords to cause a fire. Also, choose flame-retardant costumes.
  3. Be careful around kids.
    Teach children to stay away from open flames. Never let children or pets play with lights, electrical decorations, cords, matches or lighters. Keep batteries stored safely in packages, placed where children and pets cannot ingest them. Have children carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick or treating at night.
  4. Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
    A heat source that is too close to the decoration is a factor in two of every five home fires that begin with decorations. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily.
  5. Keep exits/escape routes clear of decorations.
    Don’t block escape routes and make sure all smoke alarms are working.
  6. Never overload electrical outlets.
    Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are common causes of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.
  7. Inspect all electrical decorations for damage before use.
    Cracked or damaged sockets, loose/bare wires or loose connections may cause serious shocks or start fires.
  8. Check decorations for certification label.
    Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous. Choose decorations that are flame retardant or flame resistant.
  9. Keep electronics in dry areas and away from combustibles. Phones and tablets, sometimes used to play holiday music, should be kept on a nightstand and not where overheating can catch a blanket or pillow on fire. Also, lights on a fish tank may seem like a cool idea – but keep electronics dry, away from water.
  10. Protect electrical cords from damage.
    To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, placed under rugs or across walkways or sidewalks, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples (use clips instead). Check for frayed wires, cracked sockets and excessive kinking. Also, don’t string more than three electrical cords together. Run a piece of electrical tape around the plugged connections on lights, etc., plugged to electric cords exposed to the weather.

Sources: Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Fall into Fall Savings

The weather is turning cooler and the nights are growing longer. How much you save on energy bills this season will depend largely on what you do now. These steps will help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient when colder weather arrives.

Doors and windows

  • Replace worn weather stripping around all doors and windows.
  • Caulk around gaps in windows and doors.
  • Install storm doors if you don’t have them.
  • Consider replacing older windows with newer, more energy-efficient models.

Insulation and air sealing

  • Hire a contractor to ensure that your home is insulated according to recommended levels for your area. Install insulation as needed.
  • Add foam insulation gaskets to electrical outlets and switches on external walls (remember to turn off the power first).
  • Seal gaps in attic knee walls, soffits and basement rim joints by stuffing in pieces of insulation.
  • Use expandable caulk to seal around gaps in exterior plumbing and wiring access.

Heating system

  • Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect your furnace or boiler.
  • Clean vents and other heating system components.
  • Replace your furnace filter regularly throughout the heating season.
  • Install a programmable thermostat, which can save energy by automatically adjusting temperatures according to your schedule.

Outside

  • Replace any missing or damaged roof shingles.
  • Clean gutters and make sure downspouts point away from your house.
  • Make sure flashings around the chimney and vent pipes are sealed tightly.
  • Trim tree limbs that are touching or hanging over your house.

Get a checkup

Autumn is a perfect time to schedule a home energy audit. Your auditor will inspect your home from top to bottom and suggest ways to improve efficiency and save money this winter and all year long.

Click here for more ways to save!

Turning Fallen Trees into Smiles!

Recently we assisted the Manhasset/Great Neck Economic Opportunity Council (MGNEOC) create a safe environment for the children and families served by multiple programs that provide help and support to “at risk” youth and families held at 65 High Street, Manhasset.

The MGNEOC’s facility has a wonderful playground for the community’s children to exercise and play. Unfortunately, the wood chips surrounding the playground had become diminished and needed to be replaced to enhance safety – a cost prohibitive initiative. The MGNEOC reached out to several entities for help, including Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey. Councilwoman Lurvey, familiar with PSEG Long Island’s Community Partnership Program, contacted PSEG Long Island for assistance.

“We were thrilled to be able to help the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC turn lemons into lemonade,” said Kim Kaiman, regional public affairs manager for PSEG Long Island. “PSEG Long Island is committed to not only providing reliable electric service to our customers, but also to giving back to the communities where we live and work. This request was a perfect fit.”

When our employees visited the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC to determine the amount of wood chips needed, they noticed a large tree that had fallen near a path the children and families use to access the nonprofit’s playground and food pantry. A storm toppled the tree two years ago, but the group did not have the funds to remove it.
Our employees saw the opportunity to eliminate a safety hazard and provide the much-needed wood chips at the same time and quickly adjusted its plans, arranging for a vegetation management crew to cut up the tree and feed it into a chipper on-site.

“Wood chips are important safety surfacing and they are extraordinarily expensive. A couple years ago we were the beneficiary of a similar generous donation. I am pleased PSEG Long Island was able to help again,” said Stephanie Chenault, executive director/Head Start director, Manhasset Great Neck EOC. “Thank you PSEG Long Island for removing the fallen tree and donating wood chips for our playground.”

“I want to say thank you to PSEG Long Island. I know the kids are going to love the new playground and PSEG Long Island has brought in wood chips from their tree removal,” said Councilwoman Lurvey. “That is just fantastic for the community.”

“PSEG Long Island made it all possible for this tree removal to happen. A tree needed to come down and the playground needed wood chips,” said North Hempstead Town Clerk Wayne Wink. “Thank you PSEG Long Island for the great work!”

Pastor Jim Owens of the Shelter Rock church Food Pantry, stated, “It is a real blessing to have PSEG Long Island take care of the tree. It is now a safer environment for our clients to get the services that we provide to them.”

“We are grateful for PSEG Long Island coming to cut up the tree,” said Diana Holden, executive director of Adventures in Learning. “It is important for the children to see that they are important enough for people to come, help them and take care of these dangers that are around them. It makes them feel safer. Thank you for the great work.”

For additional photos, visit PSEG Long on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWGZN9m

Electric vehicles are one of the best ways Long Island can fight climate change

National Drive Electric Week is Sept. 25 to Oct. 3, a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly evident here on Long Island, now is a crucial time to reduce our carbon footprint, and electric vehicles can help.

According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, cars buses and trucks account for nearly 40% of the carbon emissions on Long Island. Imagine the positive impact if all of these internal combustion vehicles were electric instead.

The market is changing

According to NYSERDA statistics, Long Island already leads the state in electric vehicle adoption. About 23,000 electric vehicles are currently driving on our roads. While we are at the forefront, this is still only 2% of the cars and trucks registered in our area.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill banning sales of new gas-powered passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks in New York State by 2035.

Additionally, President Joe Biden last month issued an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric, a goal made with backing from the biggest U.S. automakers.

While these are indicators that the market is shifting, Long Islanders can still make a bigger impact now—and take advantage of early-adopter incentives.

Breaking down the barriers

To help New York State meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, PSEG Long Island has been hard at work developing solutions to the most common barriers to electric vehicle ownership:

Smart chargers are expensive – PSEG Long Island offers a $500 rebate when you purchase eligible smart chargers, and it also offers a discounted electric rate when you enroll in the company’s charger program.

Electric cars are more expensive – Between PSEG Long Island incentives and state and federal rebates, you can shave $10,000 off the price of a new plug-in electric vehicle. And while the flashiest electric vehicles come with six-figure price tags, they are available in a range of trim lines and price tags from different manufacturers.

Electric vehicles can’t go as far. What if I run out of charge before I get home? – You don’t have to charge your electric vehicle at home. Public charging stations are becoming more common, and PSEG Long Island is providing incentives to grow this infrastructure to meet the increasing need.

What you can do

Visit https://driveelectricweek.org/ to learn about Drive Electric Week events happening in the metropolitan area

Find an electric vehicle that works for you. Lots of companies make electric vehicles now, including Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota and Volvo.

Visit www.psegliny.com/goelectric to learn more about the ways PSEG Long Island can help you drive electric and reduce our carbon footprint.

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.