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National Grid

National Grid offers tips on reducing energy consumption during summer

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WATERTOWN — National Grid is reminding customers of ways to reduce energy consumption during the summer months.

National Grid issued a news release on Tuesday about free and low-cost methods of reducing energy consumption when the weather is hot.

Closing window drapes and blinds during the day can block the sun’s light and heat into homes, according to National Grid. Running fans along with air conditioning units creates a windchill effect by distributing and circulating cold air throughout a room. Changing or cleaning the reusable filter in your air conditioner can improve air flow and efficiency.

National Grid also offers a Budget Billing Plan, in which customers pay a monthly amount based on their average energy usage. This spreads the cost out to provide a predictable monthly payment amount, according to National Grid.

“We periodically review accounts and adjust payment amounts to keep customers on track if their usage increases or decreases,” the news release said. “Participation is free of charge and can be discontinued at any time without penalty.”

Before it gets too hot, National Grid has a few tips.

— Have your central air conditioner checked. Just like you have your furnace serviced and cleaned each fall, you should have your central air conditioning system checked. Professionals will perform a comprehensive examination on your outside condenser and inside fan to ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.

— Replace your air conditioner’s air filter. Dirty air filters on central and room air conditioning systems can choke off the flow of air to your home’s ventilation system. Changing your filter as directed by the manufacturer not only permits air to flow freely, it helps your air conditioning run more efficiently.

— Vacuum your air intake vents and keep them clear. Dust builds up on your home’s air returns, and a couple of minutes with a vacuum can keep the air flow moving. Move toys, furniture and other objects away from the intake vent to keep air moving.

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National Grid gearing up for possible severe thunderstorms Wednesday

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WATERTOWN — National Grid is gearing up for possible severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.

The utility issued a notice on Tuesday that the agency has increased staffing and extended evening and overnight work shifts to prepare for the thunderstorms that are forecast to hit Central and Northern New York today.

Meteorologists are predicting strong winds with potentially damaging gusts and dangerous lightning.

“In the event of a power outage, our crews and support teams will be working for as long as needed to restore service as soon as conditions are safe,” the notice stated.

National Grid offered some reminders on how to prepare for a storm.

Keep flashlights and extra batteries on hand and make sure mobile devices are fully charged so you can stay connected in the event of an outage. For more information, visit ngrid.com/outagecentral.

If you see a downed power line, keep away from it and anything it may be in contact with. Downed lines should be immediately reported by calling National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or 911.

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National Grid donates 54 coats to Watertown CSD, more coats to come from local fire department

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WATERTOWN — As the cold winter months stretch on ahead of us, not everyone has access to the necessary clothing to adequately protect themselves against the elements.

Less than a week before Christmas, National Grid spread some holiday cheer to the Watertown City School District in the form of donated coats to keep students warm through the winter. In total, National Grid donated 54 coats Monday to Ohio Elementary, to be distributed to students in need.

Gwendolyn D. Sanders, community manager for National Grid for Central New York, Northern New York and the Mohawk Valley, had the idea to donate coats after driving by a school one day and seeing students walking in the cold wearing hoodies or jean jackets rather than proper winter coats. She went to her supervisor to ask if National Grid could pull together a coat drive to gather 50 or so coats, to which the supervisor not only said to go for it, but to do more if they could.

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