Kenny: Why is there an energy crisis on the South Fork?
Jessica: This is a very popular place, especially in the summer. The energy problem is primarily in what we call peak usage times… July and August. There are more people, bigger houses, more appliances, more pools (and pool pumps) more computers and cell phones, and there’s a lot more air conditioning. The South Fork uses a lot of energy!
Kenny: More than the rest of Long Island?
Jessica: Yes, out here demand is growing at TWICE the rate of the rest of Long Island.
Kenny: How does the utility keep up with that kind of demand?
Jessica: Typically they build more and more power lines, sub stations (things that will detract from the true beauty of the South Fork.) In this case, homeowners and business owners who are willing to do something can make a difference.
Kenny: And that’s where South Fork Peak Savers comes in. So, tell me what you’re doing to help reduce the energy load on the South Fork?
Jessica: We’re giving rebates of up to $500 to customers who have Nest and Honeywell WiFi thermostats, $950 for energy efficient pool pumps, as well as free Nest thermostats for people who have central air conditioning. And businesses can also participate – we offer free LED lighting upgrades, enhanced central air conditioning equipment rebates, and they also can receive free Nest thermostats.
Kenny: Ok, how does it work?
Jessica: If you have central air conditioning, we will give you free Nest thermostats. If you already have a Nest or Honeywell thermostat that’s web-enabled, you would receive up to $500 in rebates. Then you sign up for Nest’s “Rush Hour Rewards” or Honeywell’s “Connected Savings” program and you become part of South Fork Peak Savers! You will also receive $25 per year for participating in the program.
When you join South Fork Peak Savers, you agree to have your thermostat settings increased 1 – 3 degrees, on peak days (when energy usage is high). However, if you are unable to participate during that time, you can always override the change – you are always in control of your thermostat.
Kenny: Can a few degrees really make a difference?
Jessica: An enormous difference. The thing people need to know is, we’re only talking about a handful of days and a handful of hours. But those peak hours can overload the system. A change you probably won’t even feel, will help curb infrastructure you’d have to live with all year long.
Kenny: Sounds like a no brainer. What about pool pumps?
Jessica: Another no brainer… were giving $950 rebates to people willing to replace their pool pumps. An energy efficient pool pump can reduce the energy you expend by 70%.
Kenny: Ok, sign me up now!
Jessica Torsiello is the Director of Marketing and Outreach for South Fork Peak Savers and is at the Montauk Farmer’s market every Thursday. Look for her there and sign up to become a South Fork Peak Saver. To learn more about lowering your electric bill, getting rebates and preserving the beauty of the South Fork, visit SouthForkPeakSavers.com or call 1-833-346-2181.