Turn in that Old Air Conditioner and Be Cool this Summer:
States 'BE COOL' Incentive Helps Con Edison Customers Save Energy and Reduce Pollution


Agency contacts:  NYSERDA spokesperson:
Mary Ingram-Schatz (          
Colleen Ryan (
Phone: 773-955-2126  Phone: 866-NYSERDA ext. 3359                                           
Gayle Dougherty (
Phone: 978-525-3742

Greenburgh, NY – April 23, 2007: New York City has always had a cool vibe, but come summer it is one hot town.  New Yorkers in the market for a new room air conditioner can dispose of their old one at the BE COOL Turn-in Event in the Town of Greenburgh on Sunday, April 28th at the Green Living Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

As part of its BE COOL Campaign, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is hosting turn-in events throughout the city’s five boroughs and Westchester County for residential and multifamily customers of Con Edison electric service. Customers who turn in an old, working room air conditioner and purchase a new ENERGY STAR® qualified model can earn a “bounty” (financial incentive).  Those turning in a window-based room air conditioning unit earn $35 and those turning in a through-the-wall air conditioning unit earn $100 when they purchase a new ENERGY STAR model. 

“NYSERDA’s BE COOL Campaign represents a huge opportunity for New Yorkers to reduce both their energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as save money,” said Peter R. Smith, president and CEO of NYSERDA.  “With just a few simple changes, New Yorkers can use their air conditioners without wasting energy.  It’s really the way to be cool this summer.”    

The cost savings to New York City residents go far beyond the initial incentive. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to cooling and heating. ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use 10 to 25 percent less energy than a conventional new model and up to 40 percent less energy than a 10-year-old unit. ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners often include timers or programmable thermostats for better temperature control, allowing residents to use the minimum amount of energy needed to cool a room, and to cool the room only when it’s really needed. 

New Yorkers who are not eligible for the incentive can still save on their summer energy bill by using timers on air conditioners and lighting; closing shades or curtains on windows that receive direct afternoon sun; using ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of wasteful, heat-generating incandescent bulbs; and always looking for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing appliances and air conditioning products.  Also, by shifting energy-intensive tasks such as dishwashing and clothes washing to cooler early morning or late night hours, New Yorkers can help reduce mid-afternoon heat build-up and make sure there is enough electricity for everyone during the hottest part of the day.  

"The New York Power Authority's energy efficiency programs, on behalf of its public sector partners, have contributed to significant energy savings across the state. With NYSERDA, the Power Authority, Westchester County, Con Edison and now the Town of Greenburgh working together, BE COOL will help provide consumers with the tools to save energy in the home this summer," said Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority. 

NYSERDA offers these additional tips to reduce summer energy bills by up to 30 percent or more: Turn In. Turn On.

ENERGY STAR® qualified room air conditioners use up to 25 percent less energy than a standard new model and up to 40 percent less energy than a model more than 10 years old. Units with high Energy Efficiency Ratios (EERs) cost less to operate so look for ones with the highest EER. 

Size Matters
A properly sized air conditioner will operate more efficiently and dehumidify more effectively. An oversized unit will cycle on and off more frequently. Short cycling reduces an air conditioning system’s life, and a short cycling system will not reduce humidity effectively. Undersized equipment can reduce the efficiency of air distribution and accelerate wear on system components, leading to premature failure. When buying a new central air conditioning unit, a Building Performance Institute (BPI) accredited Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can determine the correct size and provide installation of the unit. 

Work off peak
To reduce a home’s heat and moisture and reduce peak load usage, use ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or at night when it’s generally cooler outside. Use a microwave to cook, or barbecue, if possible. 

No Dirty Business
A dirty filter will increase energy use and can damage the air conditioner leading to early failures, so check it every month and replace as needed. 

Chill Out in the Shade
A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. 

Don’t Forget the Adoring Fans
ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans can help cool a home without greatly increasing electricity use. They improve airflow and create pleasant breezes 

Just Chill When You’re Home
For central air conditioning, an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat allows homeowners to automatically adjust to a more comfortable temperature when they are home. While away, homeowners can set the temperature to use less cooling. Residents save three percent on energy costs for each degree they turn up the thermostat from 72 degrees.  

A Home Needs Shades Too
Block out heat by keeping blinds or curtains closed during the day, especially on south facing windows. 

Take a Whole House Approach
Houses work as a system.  Insulation, heating and air-conditioning, air sealing, water heating, ductwork, windows and doors all work together to determine efficiency. A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can perform a home energy assessment to help residents map a plan to improve a home’s energy efficiency.  

Turn It Off
Save electricity and reduce waste heat by shutting off lights.  Seldom used home electronics should actually be unplugged from the wall.  Items like DVD players, VCRs and cordless phones use 40 percent of their energy while in the off position to power functions like clocks and remote controls. 

Visit  or call 1-877-NY-SMART (1-877-697-6278) for more information about BE COOL and other summer energy saving tips.  

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most difficult and environmental problems in ways that improve the State's economy.

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