Great Deal From PSEG-Long Island

With the summer season approaching at long last, PSEG-Long Island hopes that homeowners with central air-conditioning take up its offer of free, remotely programmable thermostats that will cut electric bills and help the utility deal with high demand. It is a program very much worth considering.

The South Fork Peak Savers program brings a range of power-saving options to PSEG customers, including free Nest thermostats, rebates on more efficient pool pumps, and residential and commercial consultations at no cost. These are part of the company’s larger initiative to avoid the use of highly polluting diesel backup generators, which have been used in several locations here during the summer months, as well as to cut down on how much electricity PSEG must buy from the grid. A bonus: By reducing demand, the need for expensive and unsightly new transmission lines might be avoided. Then, too, each watt unburned in cooling a house or circulating water in a pool means a little less greenhouse gas emission.

For homeowners with central air-conditioning, the Nest thermostat deal is a no-brainer. Participants get the devices, then sign up for a program that allows it to make small short-term temperature adjustments, usually no more than one to three scarcely perceptible degrees, which can be overridden by hand. Customers who already have two or more Nest thermostats in their houses can get up to $500. Either way, participants get a $25 annual check just for staying with the program, in addition to savings estimated at around 10 percent. Over all, a Nest device reaches out to an individual thermostat about 6 to 10 times a year.

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This editorial has been updated to more accurately reflect how often and when Nest could adjust a homeowner's thermostat each summer.