Commonsense Conservation Measures, Budget Billing, Other Tools Available

Rochester, NY – NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, remind customers that now is a good time to take steps to manage winter energy bills.

“Our electricity and natural gas delivery rates have not increased since September 2012 and will remain steady at least through 2015,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “The other major component of bills, commodity prices, are bound to increase from current levels because of higher demand during the winter. These higher commodity costs combined with higher energy use in the cold-weather months means higher bills.”

NYSEG and RG&E make no profit on the commodity portion of bills.

Those customers who obtain their electricity and/or natural gas from an energy services company (ESCO) should consult with their supplier for information on winter commodity prices.

“We encourage our customers to use energy wisely and consider services such as Budget Billing to help manage energy bills,” Lynch said.

Customers should also know that they have the option of exploring other options for their electricity and/or natural gas supply. Information on choosing an electricity or natural gas supplier is available at nyseg.com and rge.com.

Budget Billing
When a customer signs up for Budget Billing, NYSEG and RG&E divides his or her annual energy bill into 12 equal payments. Every three months each Budget Billing account is reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted to ensure there is no large credit or balance due at the end of the Budget Billing year.

NYSEG and RG&E also offer eBill and AutoPay services so customers can set up automatic payments; either service is an ideal complement to Budget Billing to take the worry out of remembering to pay utility bills. To sign up for Budget Billing, eBill or AutoPay services or for more information, NYSEG customers should visit nyseg.com and click on “Your Account” or call 800.572.1111; RG&E customers should visit rge.com and click on “Your Account” or call 800.743.2110.

Using Energy Wisely
Taking a few simple steps to control energy use, particularly during extreme weather conditions when energy commodity costs tend to spike, can help control winter bills. Here are some tips from NYSEG and RG&E:
• Set thermostats no higher than 70°
• Turn thermostats down to 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.
• Use registers to direct warm airflow across the floor, not up toward the ceiling.
• 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.
• Replace incandescent lights with LED or 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:
http://www.nyseg.com/UsageAndSafety/default.html http://www.rge.com/UsageAndSafety/default.html

For information on NYSEG and RG&E energy efficiency incentives and rebate programs:  http://www.nyseg.com/Energyefficiencyprograms/default.html http://www.rge.com/Energyefficiencyprograms/default.html

Customers who are having difficulty paying their bills are urged to contact NYSEG or RG&E right away (NYSEG: 888.315.1755; RG&E: 877.266.3492).