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Energy Saving Tips For Local Residents

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With a trip to a “good Duane Reade,” Clinton Hill residents can begin saving money on their energy bills, according to Dean Zias, the New York City Outreach Coordinator for Energy Smart Communities. In a presentation at a Clinton Hill Society meeting, held at St. Luke’s Church Parish House on 259 Washington Avenue, Zias made a case for Brooklynites to make small to modest investments in their homes in order to both save on their energy bills and relax the energy grid. “The best thing we can do is to install energy efficiency in our lives and relax the grid,” said Zias. “Nobody wants to build a new power plant.” Relying on renewable, or “green,” energy sources is one major step toward achieving this goal. The New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) has an online resource to help New York State residents choose a green energy provider. The NYSPSC can be found online at www.AskPSC.com and on the phone at 1-866-GRN-POWR (476-7697). Green energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower, at this time may be more costly than traditional energy sources, but reduce hazardous waste and harmful air emissions such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. There are also state tax credits available to help lift any financial burden. Currently, New York State relies primarily on nuclear power (29 percent) for its energy demands, followed closely by natural gas (22 percent), coal (18 percent) and oil (12 percent). Hydropower makes up 17 percent, but other green energies like biomass, wind, solar and solid waste individually make one or less than one percent. State residents have the option to choose between various energy providers due to energy deregulation. Con Edison lists alternative providers online at poweryourway.com. This website features both green and traditional energy providers. Many alternative providers of traditional energy sources, like natural gas, charge less than Con Edison. As of Thursday, January 19, the following providers has lower variable rates for residential electricity than Con Edison Solutions: Direct Energy and Econnergy Energy Company, Inc. Fixed rates lower than Con Edison’s current rate were available at: Accent Energy, MXenergy and U.S. Energy Savings Corp. IDT Energy and Hudson Energy Services did not return calls before press time. Some quick tips, said Zias, for homeowners to save energy are to invest in Energy Star appliances because they run 30 percent more efficient than those without the Energy Star sticker. Zias also recommended homeowners use compact florescent lights (CFL’s) as opposed to incandescent bulbs to save upwards or 75 percent on their home lighting costs. You can find these “at a good Duane Reade,” said Zias, and they “come in all shapes and hues.”

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