NYSEG and RG&E Offer Safety and Energy-Saving Tips for the Holidays

Rochester, NY – NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, urge customers to be safe and use energy wisely this holiday season.

“We urge customers to keep safety at the top of the holiday list,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “In particular, please be sure that all electrical components are approved by Underwriters Laboratories or another recognized testing organization and are in good condition.”

“We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season,” Lynch said.

NYSEG and RG&E offer these tips:

Use only those lights and extension cords approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) or another recognized testing organization.

  • Carefully inspect light cords, plugs and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items. (They may be recyclable. Check with your municipality or recycling collector.)
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits. Follow the directions on cord labels regarding connecting strings of lights and extension cords.
  • Make sure the cords are out of the way so that nobody trips over them. Keep wires away from toddlers.
  • Extension cords and lights used outdoors should be rated for outdoor use. Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on outdoor outlets.
  • Look Up … Look Out! While decorating outside, never raise ladders, poles or other objects into or near power lines. If you are decorating an outside tree, check to make sure that its limbs aren’t near power lines or service wires. Remember that no power line is safe to touch, ever.
  • If you use candles, keep them within your sight and away from children, pets and anything that could catch fire.
  • Push wires toward the center of the tree, and clip them securely to the branches.
  • Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
  • Avoid using plastic trees unless they are flame resistant.
  • If you have a real tree, keep it fresh. Before you put the tree in its stand, cut its base at a 45-degree angle so it can absorb water. (The average tree can consume between a quart and a gallon of water a day.) Decorate the tree with miniature lights or LEDs – they produce much less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs and reduce the drying effect on the tree. Remove the tree promptly after the holidays or when it becomes dry.

Energy Efficiency

  • Purchase new, energy-efficient lights - miniature bulbs or LEDs.
  • LEDs, small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material, are exceptionally energy efficient when producing individual colors, many using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140
  • LEDs (two 24-foot strings).
  • Use a programmable timer to turn lighting displays on and off; unplug lights when you leave home or go to bed.
  • Turn decorations on only after dark.