For Immediate Release - August 11, 2006

Healey and ISO New England Urge Energy Efficiency

Healey and ISO New England Urge Energy Efficiency

DEDHAM - Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey and ISO New England COO Stephen J. Whitley today unveiled a partnership to promote energy efficiency through an outreach campaign targeted to individuals and businesses. The initiative is part of ISO's ongoing Take Charge New England sm campaign, which promotes simple yet effective steps for becoming more energy efficient at a time when New England's electricity consumption has been growing steadily each year.

As the non-profit operator of the region's bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets, ISO New England is targeting residential, business and institutional users with the message that more efficient practices help preserve our electricity resources, while also saving money at home and cutting costs in the workplace. Tips and information on energy efficiency are available at the Take Charge New England sm Web site, www.takecharge-ne.org.

"Doing our best to preserve energy resources, particularly during the times when heavy demand really challenges the power infrastructure, is a critical undertaking," said Healey. "The Commonwealth can be a partner in promoting energy efficiency with ISO's Take Charge New England campaign. Tomorrow begins the sales-tax free weekend for consumers, and we are encouraging everyone to use this opportunity to buy energy efficient, Energy Star-rated products at retail stores throughout Massachusetts."

ISO New England has provided the Office of Consumer Affairs with 800 posters that have been posted in town halls and libraries around the Commonwealth. The posters use Take Charge New England's "We're not asking you to do anything crazy" tagline and offbeat visual messages to illustrate how simple energy efficient practices really are.

"The good news is that our power grid was able to withstand an incredible heat wave," said Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO New England Inc. "But the fact that we broke electricity consumption records by such a wide margin is a clear signal that the region has to seriously address the issue of energy efficiency."

Healey was joined by Stephen J. Whitley, senior vice president and chief operating officer of ISO New England, and Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Director Janice Tatarka at the event today announcing the partnership between ISO and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

"Reducing electricity use by 5 percent during peak times can save consumers $580 million a year. In contrast, "Business As Usual" will cause electricity costs to remain high. A 5 percent increase in electricity use will increase costs by $700 million," Whitley said. "It is time for both residential and commercial users in Massachusetts to take a more active role in being more efficient in their use of energy. The Office of Consumer Affairs is taking an important step in helping us bring this message to the thousands of people using government buildings every day. We thank them and Lieutenant Governor Healey for their leadership on this issue."

Announced in June, ISO New England's Take Charge New England sm consumer awareness campaign encourages both residential and business consumers to use electricity wisely to lower costs and help maintain a reliable bulk power system. Throughout the summer, ISO New England has been promoting the energy efficiency campaign with informational handouts, refrigerator magnets, direct consumer outreach and meetings with business groups. Tips for residential consumers, a checklist for companies and an agenda for gauging a company's electricity usage are available on the Take Charge New England sm Web site, www.takecharge-ne.org.

"The Commonwealth and its energy partners have many rebates and tax incentives like the HEAT Loan Program and Mass SAVE available for consumers seeking to make their homes more energy efficient, and I would encourage homeowners to take advantage of these cost saving opportunities," said Tatarka.

ISO New England and the Office of Consumer Affairs encourage consumers to put the following tips into practice to make your home more energy efficient:

  • Use energy efficient appliances and lighting in your home as much as possible. ENERGY STAR labeled appliances will save you both energy and money.
  • Unplug your appliances - including televisions, DVD players, and kitchen appliances - when they are not in use. Consider switching off the appliances using a surge protector power strip, which is easier and has the added benefit of protecting the appliance as well.
  • Run your washer, dryer, and dishwasher only with a full load and during the early morning or late evening. Many dishwashers have a delay start feature, which will allow you to run it overnight. Avoid doing laundry between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Seal and insulate your home to improve comfort and reduce heating and cooling costs. Door sweeps and foam strips are easy ways to seal your living space.
  • Set your thermostat as high as possible in summer and as low as possible in winter. A suggested temperature range for summer is between 74°F - 78°F and 65°F - 68°F for winter. Also, consider installing an ENERGY STAR rated programmable thermostat that is already preprogrammed.

About ISO New England

Since 1997, ISO New England Inc. has been the not-for-profit corporation responsible for the day-to-day reliable operation of New England's bulk power generation and transmission system with an installed capacity of 32,000 megawatts; oversight and fair administration of the region's $10 billion wholesale electricity marketplace, comprised of more than 280 market participants; and management of a comprehensive regional bulk power system planning process.