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Heat wave prompts Cuomo to direct state agencies to lower power usage immediately

With high temperatures and miserable humidity expected to last through the weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo directed all state agencies Friday to immediately lower energy use by turning off lights, powering down unused computers and printers and taking other such measures.

“This extreme heat has led to near-record electricity usage and has placed significant demands on our entire grid,” Cuomo said in a statement.

During heat waves, increased use of air conditioners and other electrical appliances can place a considerable demand on the state’s electricity system – and instances of low voltage or isolated power outages can result.

Cuomo strongly encouraged local public officials, municipalities and the public to follow suit.

To reduce energy use, particularly during peak periods, the state encourage the public to take some of these energy saving measures:

• Close drapes, windows and doors on your home’s sunny side to reduce solar heat buildup.

• Turn off air conditioners, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Use advanced power strips to centrally “turn off” all appliances and save energy.

• If purchasing an air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified model. ENERGY STAR air conditioners use up to 25 percent less energy than a standard model

• Fans can make rooms feel five to 10 degrees cooler and use 80 percent less energy than air conditioners.

• Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher to save on your cooling costs.

• Place your air conditioner in a central window, rather than a corner window, to allow for better air movement.

• Consider placing the unit on the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy if it is exposed to direct sunlight.

• Seal spaces around the air conditioner with caulking to prevent cool air from escaping.

• Clean the cooling and condenser fans plus the coils to keep your air conditioner operating efficiently and check the filter every month and replace as needed.

• Use appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and ovens early in the morning or late at night. This will also help reduce humidity and heat in the home.

• Use energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, and you can use 75 percent less energy.

• Microwave food when possible. Microwaves use about 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.

• Dry clothes on a clothes line

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