Wise Ideas from NYSERDA

logoNew York State is one of the nation’s most energy-aware states. Take for example the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. This public benefit corporation gives to the public not only information and analysis of the most pressing energy issues of the day, but also offers innovative programs, technical advice, funding, and lots more, to help citizens be as aware and energy-savvy as possible.

The NYSERDA has been in service of the people since 1975, creating and promoting solutions to protect the environment, save money, create clean energy jobs, and much more.

Here is a small sample of some of the programs NYSERDA offers to the public sector.

Home energy efficiency programs– NYSERDA assesses home energy usage using contractors accredited by the Building Performance Institute. Home owners receive a list of recommendations for ways to improve energy efficiency, including improved insulation, efficient lighting, better heating systems, and more.

Energy Star Certified Products– A product is eligible for an Energy Star endorsement when it meets or goes beyond the federal standards for energy efficiency, with no loss of product quality or performance. The Department of Energy determines these guidelines. Always look for the Energy Star when buying new appliances.

EmPower New York– This program helps those who are eligible base on income, to upgrade their living spaces to more energy efficient dwellings, but without having to spend any of their own resources to do it. After the home or apartment is transformed into a more energy efficient abode, EmPower New York will send workers to provide tips and strategies on how to further manage energy usage every day.

IDT Energy is a New York based company helping consumers use energy wisely, and save money, too.

Winter Savings Tips

Winter is upon us, and during this chilly, festive season, it is important to stay on top of energy consumption. Keeping the house warm, cooking in the oven and long, hot showers all contribute to higher energy costs.

Craft/DIY Eco Tips offers some great winter energy savings ideas in this short video:

 

Energy Saving Tips for Kids

Saving energy is a top priority in almost every household. Many parents find that they struggle to keep their family’s energy consumption under control. One great way to get on top of things is to start involving every member of the family in the efforts, including the children.

TVA Kids offers some great energy saving tips for youngsters:

  • Set your home’s thermostat a few degrees lower. For each one-degree change, your family can save up to 5 percent on your home’s heating and cooling costs!

  • Turn off lights and all electronics (like computers, televisions, stereos, and video-games) when you leave a room.

  • Use the microwave instead of the oven for cooking your meals.

  • Use machines like washers, dryers, and dishwashers after 8 p.m.

  • Open your blinds or curtains on sunny winter days to let the sun shine into your home.

  • Save hot water by taking short showers instead of baths.

  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.

  • Occasionally hold a ribbon up to the edges of your home’s windows. If air is leaking into, or out of, the house, the ribbon will move. If you find a leak, let someone in your family know so they can fix it.

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Learn about summer energy saving tips with Energy Advisor Sherry Coleman:

 

Involving Kids in Energy Saving

New York-based companies like IDT Energy understand the importance of responsible energy use at home. A big part of reducing costs is involving the entire family and educating children on the benefits and practicality of saving electricity.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has a website dedicated to kids. They explain the in home basics:

“The ability to heat and cool is one important accomplishment of modern technology. Our ovens, freezers, and homes can be kept at any temperature we choose, a luxury that wasn’t possible 100 years ago. But keeping our homes comfortable uses a lot of energy.

Lighting is also essential to a modern society. Lights have revolutionized the way we live, work and play. Most homes still use the traditional incandescent bulbs invented by Thomas Edison. These bulbs convert only about 10% of the electricity they use into the light; the other 90% is converted into the heat. In 1879, the average bulb produced only 14 lumens per watt, compared to about 17 lumens per watt from modern incandescent bulbs. By adding halogen gases, the efficiency can be increased to 20 lumens per watt.”

Preparing for Winter Energy Use

Winter is not yet upon us, but as the season changes the temperatures drop, and the quick transition often has people running for the heaters. Energy use in the winter is especially high, and so it is wise to prepare for the season in advance. With proper planning and preparation, bills can be lowered even before they go up. Many energy providers, like IDT Energy, offer advice and even home visits to help develop new energy-saving plans.

OrganicAuthority.com offers 5 useful tips to prepare for winter months:

  • Place wooden shelves above your radiators and heaters. Shelving above a radiator forces hot air to circulate out and into the room, rather than shooting straight up to the ceiling and being lost. You’re trying not to start a fire here, so give it at least a foot of space in between.
  • Add wooden shutters. Wooden shutters help to insulate, so replace old blinds with them or add them to your kitchen and bedroom windows. They also add a natural elegance to any space.
  • Fit your radiator valves… By fitting radiator valves in your house or apartment, you can help regulate the temperature differently with each room…
  • Ditch the electric blanket. While they help you feel cozy, they’re terrible wasters of energy and energy dollars, so bundle up with an organic cotton blanket and a pair of warm, insulated slippers instead.
  • Invest in (or make) a few heating rice packs. They may not keep you warm through and through come January, but they’re perfect for chilly fall nights. These rice-and-grain-filled sacks can be heated in a microwave (if you haven’t ditched it yet!) or placed on a radiator for a few minutes until warmed…

Saving Energy at Home

Homes throughout the New York area often deal with unreasonably high electricity bills. Though some people accept the reality as inevitable, many realize that with a bit of effort they can reduce energy use, and thereby spending. First, consult your energy provider, like IDT Energy. Most companies will be able to assess your monthly use and make several useful suggestions.

Next, ask yourself the following questions from Energy Savers:

  • How much money do you spend on energy?
  • What are your greatest energy losses?
  • Do energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you, like increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows?
  • How long do you plan to own your current home?
  • How much time do you have for maintenance and repairs?

In addition, simple behavioral changes and habits can significantly reduce energy use in your home. Discuss with family members or roommates, and be sure to stick with new policies.

IDT Energy Compares Light Bulb Efficiency

IDT Energy invites you to watch this informative video comparing the energy efficiency of a variety of lightbulbs.

Putting Cool into Keeping Cool with IDT Energy

Nest Smart Thermostat

IDT Energy has been recommending programmable thermostats to consumers as a great, easy way to save on home heating and cooling. Now thermostats are also cool.

Tony Fadell, the designer of the iPod, has gotten into the green technologies marketplace and he has decided that something as simple, and as important as a programmable thermostat can also have an exciting, unique design.  Not only is the thermostat, dubbed Nest “something that draws attention,” as Fadell put it, but its smart too.

Nest is capable of learning the family’s habits, senses when no one is home, and atomically adjusts itself accordingly. Built in Wi-Fi also connect Nest to a home network, through which it can be controlled, including from an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Take saving energy to the latest coolest level with IDT Energy.

IDT Energy: Save Energy with a Cool Roof

What is a cool roof? It’s a roof which can make your entire house more energy efficient by reflecting back the heat of the sun rather than absorbing the heat and transferring it into your home. As a result your roof stays cooler and you need less energy from your air conditioning system to keep cool.

Consider installing a cool roof and:

•    Reduce air pollution and smog in your city. Using less electricity creates less of a burden on power plants.
•    Preserve your roof so it lasts longer.
•    Save money on your electricity bill.
•    Minimize the effects of “heat islands” in suburbs, towns and cities.