Local library “checks out” the benefits of energy efficiency

The Township of East Brunswick stretches across more than 22 miles of central New Jersey real estate and is home to a diverse population of 47,000 who have cultivated a municipality with an outstanding school system and a strong mix of housing, commercial and recreational options.

The East Brunswick Public Library helps to anchor this thriving community with more than 335,000 patrons passing through the doors annually. The library is one of the busiest municipal library buildings in the state of New Jersey. It has achieved national recognition for the quality of its collections, programs and services, as well as continually being named as one of the “Best Public Libraries in Central New Jersey” by readers of the Home News Tribune.
Continue reading

What’s cooking this holiday? Savings!

Between buying gifts and hosting parties, it’s no secret that the holidays can be an expensive time of year. But, did you know that changes to your cooking routine can help you save money in the kitchen?  For example, slow cookers, pots, toaster ovens or warming plates use about half the energy of the average electric stove.

  1. Preheat the oven to the exact temperature you need. The oven won’t heat up any faster at a higher setting.
  2. Put lids on pots and pans to prevent heat loss.
  3. Turn off the oven 10 minutes early – the food will keep cooking as long as the door stays closed.
  4. No peeking! Whenever you open the oven door, the temperature drops by about 25 degrees.
  5. Always use glass or ceramic dishes if possible. They retain heat better and cook food faster.

Last but not least – when you’re ready to clean up, always make sure your dishwasher is full before running it. It’s more energy efficient.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

How to avoid paying for more than half of your electric car

There are many new models of electric cars flooding the market, from pure electrics (like the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt or Tesla) to electric cars that also sport gas electric generators so they may run on duel fuels (like the Chevy Bolt Volt or BMW I3).  Still others boast a small electric engine that takes you 10 to 15 miles and then switch to a gas engine (like the plug-in Prius or Ford Focus ).  This is just a start. There are now more than 35 models of electric cars from more than 17 companies for sale in the Unites States.  Increasingly there is an electric car that can meet the driving needs of nearly everyone.  Continue reading

There Are Vampires Among Us

Ghouls, goblins and other scary creatures roam our neighborhoods on Halloween. But there are other scary creatures – vampire devices – secretly sucking energy from our homes.

Vampire energy, or phantom load, is the name we give to the electricity consumed by household electronics when they’re not in use. Households in PSE&G’s service territory spend an average of about $1,200 a year in energy costs, and up to 10 percent of that can be attributed to vampire appliances wasting energy that customers probably don’t even realize is being used.

No one would throw away $120 a year, and no one wants to see that much energy wasted. These are the appliances freeloading the most power – and money – from your home, and some tips to help you reduce the amount you pay for unwanted electricity use.

Flat-screen TVs, especially those equipped with smart technology, are the biggest vampires in your home. They need to draw power constantly to be ready to respond to signals from their remote controls and content providers. Advanced power strips (APS) are one convenient way to help reduce energy wasted by TVs and other vampire devices. There are a few types of APS systems available that won’t cramp your energy lifestyle.

Check out the infographic below for details (click to enlarge):

aps

Infographic developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Video game consoles are the second-biggest energy vampires. They could be costing your family even when they’re not being played. For avid gamers who purchase games digitally, automatic game downloads and updates can keep a console drawing power for hours. But why take the fun out of gaming? Disable automatic updates, downloads and Wi-Fi access. Instead, enable “background downloads,” to have new content delivered to your device as you play. That will keep your console up-to-date without adding to your energy bill. Another solution is connecting the gaming console to an APS to ensure the device is completely shut off and not wasting energy or money.

In your kitchen, a single appliance may not have a huge impact on your energy bill, but when the energy use is combined, the waste adds up. At an average of $5 apiece, when not in use, blenders, coffee makers, toasters and microwaves can add $20 to your energy bill every year. Anything with a digital display is drawing power non-stop to keep the clock and other information up to date. Do you really need your microwave to tell you it’s lunch time? Plug all these devices into a power strip that can be easily shut-off on your way out the door.

Opening your energy bill does not have to be a scary experience – especially when you can reduce unnecessary power consumption.

Blog_headshot (2)Frank Vetri- Renewable & Energy Solutions Specialist, PSEG

A Good Message To Share With Those In Need

22786365939_c29c49f3b0_o

Lateesha Mars remembers when a woman with two young children in tow approached her window at the PSE&G Customer Service Center in Newark. The woman recently became seriously ill and couldn’t work. She couldn’t pay her bills. She didn’t know what to do – and she was afraid. Lateesha could see relief on her face as she learned about the payment assistance programs for which she might qualify.

Continue reading