With frigid temperatures in the forecast starting Thursday and remaining through the weekend, local residents are advised to take steps to conserve energy and avoid weather-related hazards. The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures in the teens and single digits with wind chills well below zero through Sunday for much of the Mid-Hudson Valley.
“In the coming days, the Mid-Hudson Valley will experience the first blast of arctic air of this winter season, and our electric and natural gas systems are prepared to serve the anticipated increase in demand,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. Freni explained heating systems work harder during cold weather, and that periods of high energy use are generally accompanied by higher market prices for electricity and natural gas supply. The combination of higher usage and prices can raise utility bills. “Every day, Central Hudson takes proactive steps to help mitigate higher market prices for energy, however customers should safely conserve to help manage their energy bills whenever possible, particularly during periods of high energy demand.”
For example, turning down thermostats saves up to three percent on energy use for every degree lowered, and smart thermostats can automate these settings. Central Hudson customers receive an instant $50 rebate on ENERGY STAR® certified smart thermostats at Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Best Buy. Rebates by mail are also available when shopping at these and other retailers. For details, go to CentralHudson.com/shoplocal.
Other Ways in which customers can save energy during cold weather include:
- Sealing air leaks with weather stripping and caulk, which can save up to 10 percent on the use of heating fuels;
- Placing plastic film over windows and drawing drapes to help insulate windows to keep heated air in the home;
- Insulating ducts and hot water pipes where they run through uninsulated areas, such as crawl spaces, and repairing air leaks in the duct system;
- Keeping radiators and vents clear of furniture to allow heat to circulate freely;
- Changing filters and having heating system serviced for safety, reliability and efficiency; and/or
- Adding insulation to the attic, when possible.
Freni also cautioned that customers should avoid cold-weather hazards by:
- Exercising care when using space heaters by keeping them away from flammable materials such as paper or curtains, placing them out of areas of foot traffic, and shutting them off when not in use;
- Clearing ice that has the potential to fall, particularly near doorways and around utility meters, and keeping meters free of snow by lightly brushing them with a broom;
- Keeping chimneys and flues clear of ice, snow and other obstructions to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home;
- Never using kitchen stoves or outdoor grills for supplemental heating, as these create a fire hazard and produce carbon monoxide; and
- Exercise caution when outdoors or avoid spending time outside when possible.
During frigid temperatures, customers should also be aware of natural gas odors. If an odor is detected, or a home carbon monoxide/methane detector is alarming, STOP. GO. LET US KNOW: Stop what you are doing, go outside immediately and call our gas odor hotline at (800) 942-8274 or 911.
Visit www.CentralHudson.com for more information on winter safety, efficiency incentives and energy saving tips.
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