There are plenty of easy ways to stay cool and save energy in the summer, but when life takes over, it is so easy to forget! New York Assemblyman Karl Brabenec of Assembly District 98 issued a statement informing and reminding New Yorkers of ways to stay cool while also minimizing energy consumption and maximizing savings on utility bills.

Assemblyman Brabenec Offers Summer Cooling Solutions

Assemblyman Brabenec said in a recent press release:

As I fight to cut your energy costs and keep rates as low as possible—an uphill battle in Albany--, my team and I have taken the time to compile some practical energy-saving tips that you can use now, including programs offered by Orange and Rockland Utilities.

Below are the tips that Brabenec and his office suggests residents to consider during the summer.

1) Make Cooling More Efficient

  • Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature (experts recommend around 78°F) and use programmable thermostats to adjust settings when you're away. Consider installing ceiling fans to circulate air, which helps you to feel cooler.

Heymo Vehse
  • Check for gaps around windows, doors, and other openings. Seal them with weatherstripping or caulking to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from seeping in.

2) Save Energy on Lighting and Appliances

  • Take advantage of longer daylight hours by opening curtains and blinds to let sunlight illuminate your living spaces. Reduce the use of artificial lighting during the day.

Ken Wile with Redfin Real Estate
Ken Wile with Redfin Real Estate
  • Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-saving alternatives like LED or CFL bulbs. They consume less electricity and have a longer lifespan.

  • Many appliances continue to draw power even when not in use. Unplug electronic devices when not needed or use power strips with an on/off switch to cut off the power supply entirely.

 3. Optimize Energy Consumption During Peak Hours:

  • During peak demand periods (typically late afternoon to early evening), limit the use of major appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers. Consider running these appliances during off-peak hours to reduce strain on the grid.

 4. Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) Programs:

  • EmPower+: offers free or subsidized home energy assessments to income-eligible New Yorkers. Trained professionals evaluate your residence, identify potential energy-saving measures, and provide recommendations for improvement.

  • Rebates: O&R offers various rebates to incentivize upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances and equipment. You can receive rebates for purchasing ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, high-efficiency HVAC systems, heat pumps, water heaters, and energy-efficient lighting. Take advantage of these programs to reduce upfront costs and enjoy long-term energy savings.

Green lightbulb
  • Time-of-Use (TOU) rates: save money by shifting energy consumption to off-peak hours. Consider adjusting your energy usage patterns accordingly to take advantage of lower rates during specified timeframes.

  • For more information, please visit O&R’s Web site at

By implementing these energy-saving tips and taking advantage of the programs offered by Orange & Rockland Utilities, you can enjoy a more comfortable summer, cut your energy bills, and even protect the environment. It’s a win-win-win!

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