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Calling on Everyone To Turn Off the Lights

A statewide campaign promotes energy-saving habits as summer arrivesIf a company called Public Energy Solutions has its way, the lights will go out all over New Jersey on June 16. That?s when the Paramus-based firm has scheduled Kill-A-Watt day, a period from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. when state residents are being asked to cut their energy use.
?We?re wasteful in our energy consumption?every state is,? says Keith Hartman, 44, president of the Public Service Enterprise Group spinout that specializes in reducing energy costs. ?If everyone in the U.S. made their facility more energy efficient and turned off electrical equipment when it was not needed, we would save tens of billions of dollars every year.?
The Kill-A-Watt campaign calls on businesses, homes, schools and government offices to turn off lights in unoccupied areas, raise air-conditioning thermostats by two degrees and shut down idle equipment. Hartman calls this useful training for saving money and reducing the risk of blackouts or brownouts this summer. WSI, a weather forecaster in Andover, Massachusetts, expects above-average temperatures during the upcoming air-conditioning season.
Public Energy Solutions expects energy consumption to drop 10% to 15% on June 16. The company, which became a stand-alone firm in 2002, has 25 employees and annual revenue of $5 million to $10 million.
As part of the Kill-A-Watt campaign, Public Energy Solutions is talking to schools, stores and government agencies about ways they can cut energy consumption. And Hartman says many businesses aren?t conscientious enough about saving electricity.
?It makes sense for businesses to turn off their computers when they?re not using them,? says BPU President Jeanne Fox. ?You should open the windows unless it?s hot and humid outside or raining. It makes sense to get fresh air circulating in a room.?
Public Energy Solutions expects to spend $115,000 on the Kill-A-Watt campaign for such things as flyers and a Website at www.operationkill-a-watt.com. The company retained Creative Marketing Alliance in Princeton Junction and First Team Marketing and Communications in Robbinsville to work on the effort. ?We are asking everyone to pitch in and conserve just a little; it adds up,? says Hartman. ?Our goal is to show that everyone has the power to manage electric use.?
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TIPS FOR CUTTING COSTS
– Turn up the thermostat two degrees in summer; turn it down two degrees in winter.

– Open windows on warm spring days.

– Install Energy Star rated
refrigerators, hot water heaters and dishwashers.

– Use cold water instead of hot or warm to wash clothes.

– Unplug electric gadget rechargers when not in use.

– Turn off that second fridge in the basement until it?s needed.

– Replace ?Exit? sign light bulbs in office buildings with light emitting diodes.

– Run fewer elevators in high-rise buildings when most people are at their desks.

– Turn off office lights at the end of the day.

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