June 27th, 2012
This Week in Orange County 6-27-12
Orange County Executive Edward Diana
GOSHEN - Just in case you missed the news - it’s hot out there. Summer certainly came in with a bang this year. Here in the Hudson Valley it’s unusual for us to mark the summer solstice with 100 degree temperatures. That means many people were not yet ready to face these extreme weather conditions.
Please check on sick and elderly neighbors to make sure they are coping okay with the heat. Don’t leave children or pets in your vehicles and be sure to watch for signs of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. For more information about heat health, and tips to ensure a cool, safe summer, check out our Orange County website at www.orangecountygov.com.
During the summer months, especially when everyone starts running their air conditioning at the same time, there can be a real strain on the region’s power grid. This can lead to brown outs and even wide spread power outages. There are, however, a few simple steps each of us can take to conserve energy in our homes and work places this summer.
Consider these simple tips from Orange County Commissioner of Public Works Charles Lee:
• Use fans more often - they circulate the air and use less energy than air conditioning (AC).
• Use AC less.
• Use a programmable thermostat to keep your summer temperature at 78°. Turn the AC down or off when you’re not home.
• Turn off the lights when not in use. Opt for natural lighting when possible, this keeps rooms cooler.
• Keep the windows shut when running the AC.
• Switch to CFL bulbs, which last 10 times longer and use 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
• When you’re shopping for new appliances, choose energy-efficient ENERGY STAR products.
• Survey your house for “voltage vampires” - those electronic devices and appliances that you’re not actively using but remain plugged in. These may include phone chargers, computers, DVD players, kitchen appliances, and gaming systems. Unplugging those vampires is a simple way to save energy.
• When using the washing machine or dishwasher, only do full loads and try to do them early in the morning or late in evening when the energy demand is down.
These are just a handful of easy-to-manage ways to save energy. Many of these tips are good practice any time of the year. Best of all, when you improve your energy efficiency, you use less energy and save more money. It’s good for your wallet and good for the environment.
Stay cool and stay safe this summer.
Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.