Beginning in January 2017 National Grid customers in Brooklyn, Staten Island and some parts of Queens can expect to see higher heating bills following a unanimous vote by New York State’s Public Service Commission to raise bills so the company can pay for the utility, DNAinfo first reported.
According to DNA, impacted areas can expect to paying almost $10 extra a month so that National Grid can fund billions of dollars worth of infrastructure improvements and become more resilient against future storms. Part of this money will also go to cleaning up notoriously polluted borough Superfund sites the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek.
Shortly before the vote and bad news of bill hikes hit, National Grid sent out a list of “Holiday Energy Savings Tips” to improve safety and affordability while preparing holiday meals, as well as a list of ways to be more efficient that National Grid will reward with incentives and rebates. can qualify customers for incentives and rebates. Especially if that extra $10 a month feels daunting, consider using the following tips to save money.
For holiday cooking, National Grid advises these (rather harsh) ways to save energy, for yourself and the environment:
- Don’t preheat your natural gas oven if you don’t have to. If you’re baking breads and cakes, pre-heating may be necessary, but for most foods like casseroles and broiled items, pre-heating isn’t needed.
- Keep the oven door closed. Don’t open the oven door while food is cooking. You can lose up to 50 degrees in temperature and waste energy.
- Plan ahead. Cook several dishes at the same time and temperature.
- Adjust the gas flame to fit your pans. The flame should never come up around the sides of a pan.
- Place lids tightly on pans to speed up cooking time.
- Use the smallest pan and burner while cooking to save energy.
The rewardable tips are as follows:
- Install a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, and receive a $75 rebate. A Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Using them can lower your energy bill up to $180 a year.
- If it’s time for a new heating system, National Grid offers up to $600 in rebates on high-efficiency natural gas heating equipment. Installing a high-efficiency natural gas heating boiler or furnace will save up to 30 percent on your heating-related energy costs.
- Save up to $400 with a National Grid rebate for a natural gas water heater. A high efficiency natural gas water heater can save up to 30 percent on your energy bill, and it’s better for the environment too.