MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Electrical bills in homes and businesses rise during steamy weather, especially with the heat index predicted to reach into the 100s this weekend. Hints from local officials and ConEdison can make the months end bill more palatable.
"The best thing people can do is reduce their use," said the Village of Mamaroneck manager Richard Slingerland. "Turn off lights and turn the air conditioner higher."
Slingerland, who will hold a 2 p.m. conference call with Con Edison to make sure they are prepared in case of a blackout or brown out, recommended people keep their air conditioners at 72 degrees or higher.
According to Elizabeth Matthews, a spokesperson for ConEdison, some of the best ways to save electricity when running your air conditioner are the simplest.
Change your air conditioners filter, she said. Clean filters make for peak efficiency.
Turn off lights and other appliances when not in use. Not only does that cut electricity usage, it also cuts down on things that can heat up your house.
Even if you put your hand in front of your computer screen or TV you can feel the heat coming off of it, she said.
Appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and ovens should be used in the morning when its generally a little bit cooler.
If you can avoid that all together use a microwave or use a barbecue, she said. Keep the heat outside.
While Mamaroneck has a cooling center available to the public at the Weaver Street Firehouse, few people have used it in the past, preferring to stay in their homes.
"People should make every effort to reduce electricity use so that we lower the risk of overloading the system," Slingerland said.
The all-time peak demand for electricity in the metro-area was Aug. 2, 2006, when 13,141 megawatts were drawn from the system. ConEdison expects demand for electricity to hover between 11,000 and 13,000 megawatts. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, demand for electricity was 11,600 megawatts.
Jessica Glenza contributed to this report.
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