You know what's cool? Saving money on your energy bill, which can be tough when you're running your air conditioner for hours on end, like many New Yorkers do during the summer.
Zach Sussman, an energy efficiency specialist for Con Edison gave an idea of how much power is needed through the hotter months. "We have over 7 million room air conditioners and growing in the NYC/Westchester area," he said.
But Con Edison wants to put the power to control your AC costs in the palm of your hand. The utility's newly renamed Smart AC Program works in two ways. Those with a window unit can request a free Smart AC kit that will allow you to control your AC from your phone.
This means you no longer have to choose between coming home to a sweltering apartment or wasting money by running the AC when you aren't there.
"Right now the thermostat is set to off, but if you wanted to turn it on, hit on," Sussman said, showing how easy it was to control your AC remotely. "I can just turn it on before I get home or I can schedule it even so I don't have to worry."
If you are looking to buy a new unit this year, two smart models are included in the program. The WiFi enabled Frigidaire Gallery costs about $100 more than its non-smart counterpart, but with a $30 rebate and a $50 gift card for enrolling, the cost difference is minimal.
Whether or not you have a smart AC, you can still save money by making some smart choices in when and how you cool your home. "Don't run your air conditioner in an empty apt,” Sussman suggested. “If you can live with a few degrees warmer, then adjust your air conditioner that way."
In order to earn rewards and keep the modlet for free, you do need to participate in one Cool Points event during the season, letting Con Ed control your unit for about 4 hours.
"So that is when the grid is strained and we want to help reduce load on the grid to help keep everyone's lights on,” Sussman explained. “We will call it Cool Points Hours and we will adjust your energy usage on your air conditioner."
Con Edison anticipate as many as 4 events this summer and say you can opt out if need be. For more information, visit conedsmartac.com.