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news release

NYSEG and RG&E Encourage Customers to Use Energy Wisely and Stay Safe as the Heating Season Gets Under Way

Rochester, NY – Having already experienced a taste of cold weather, NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, remind customers to use energy wisely and stay safe during the winter months.  

Winter Outlook
Three factors will determine the magnitude of bills this winter:
• Weather: The colder the weather, the more energy customers use and the higher bills will be. By using energy wisely, customers can exercise some control over how much energy they use.
• Natural Gas Commodity Prices: While the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expecting an increase in the average price of natural gas prices through the remainder of this year and next, prices are expected to remain relatively low.
• Natural Gas Delivery Prices: Under the terms of a 40-month rate plan approved by the New York State Public Service Commission in September 2010, NYSEG and RG&E  on September 1 implemented the third and last of three modest delivery rate increases. So, natural gas delivery rates will remain as they are through 2013.
 
NYSEG and RG&E offer the following safety and energy-saving tips.

Safety
• Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by having heating systems and chimney, flues and vents checked once a year by a professional. Also, use CO detectors.

• Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors or even in a garage; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas.
• Never use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
• Never use a grill, hibachi, lantern or portable camping stove indoors.
• Make sure your electric stove tops and/or ovens are off when not in use.
• Keep electric and kerosene space heaters away from anything flammable. And be sure the use of kerosene heaters is not prohibited by local law.

Heating
• Set thermostats no higher than 70° and at 58° when you’re away from the house for more than a few hours or in bed for the night. (This may not be advisable if frail, ill or elderly people or infants are in the home.)
• Install automatic set back or programmable thermostats.
• Change or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season.
• Since warm air rises, use registers to direct warm airflow across the floor.
• Close vents and doors in unused rooms and close fireplace dampers when not in use.
• Open draperies and blinds on sunny days to let the warmth in; close them at night to insulate against cold air outside.

Lighting/Electricity
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs that use up to 75% less energy and last up to 10 times as long.
• Use programmable timers to turn lights on/off.
• Turn off lights and electronics when not in use.

Hot Water
• Set water heater temperatures at 120° to cut water heating bills without sacrificing comfort.
• Install water-flow restrictors in showerheads and faucets.
• Limit the length of showers.
• Run washing machines and clothes dryers with a full load.

>> For more low-cost and no-cost energy-saving tips, visit www.nyseg.com  or www.rge.com  and click on “Usage and Safety” (http://www.nyseg.com/UsageAndSafety/default.html or http://www.rge.com/UsageAndSafety/default.html).

>> Customers are also encouraged to sign up for Budget Billing service, which enables them to spread utility costs evenly over 12 months. For more information or to sign up, NYSEG customers should visit nyseg.com or call 1.800.572.1111; RG&E customers should visit rge.com or call 1.800.743.2110.

>> Customers who are having difficulty paying their bills are urged to contact their utility right away (NYSEG: 1.888.315.1755; RG&E: 1.877.266.3492).