With temperatures soaring, New Yorkers are feeling the heat—both in their apartments and with their Con Ed bills. If you're looking for smarter cooling from your AC with less pressure on your wallet, you may want to perk up; a new energy-saving initiative can help trim your costs.
The program, rolled out by Con Edison and energy-efficiency company ThinkEco, is called coolNYC and uses smart technology to streamline energy use. How? It allows you to control your air conditioner from anywhere via your smartphone or computer.
Many New Yorkers typically keep their ACs running all day so that they don't have to come home to a boiling apartment. The tradeoff, of course, is high energy costs. With coolNYC, you can turn off your unit on your way out, then flip it back on before you head home from the office—all with an easy-to-use app. If you'd rather not turn your unit off entirely, the app also allows you to monitor and adjust your home temperature remotely.
Another cool perk? With the app, users can see a breakdown of their energy usage.
The clever energy-saving hack can make a real difference in your monthly bill. (One customer boasted $50 in savings for July.) Those who opt in to the program can really maximize the chance to save by participating in periodic coolNYC events. During these four-hour periods, which occur between three and five times per summer, the program automatically turns your air conditioner on and off at sporadic intervals or slightly raises your thermostat.
Users can easily override this, but may want to think twice before they do. Participating opens the door for rewards and prizes. coolNYC’s currency is coolPoints (every 1,000 coolPoints equals one dollar), and participants can earn between $25 and $125 in coolPoints just for signing up (connecting their AC units to WiFi and using them throughout the summer). coolPoints can be redeemed for gift cards from major national retailers.
The program makes it easy for New Yorkers to jump onboard. Those with traditional window ACs just need a smartAC kit to convert their unit into a connected device. Enrolling will earn you an automatic 10,000 coolPoints. You'll earn an additional 5,000 coolPoints for every coolNYC event in which you fully participate. Those with Friedrich Kuhl or Frigidaire Cool Connect units can earn even more points. These energy-efficient models also don't require a smartAC kit to get started.
Enrolling in the program today will have you armed and ready for the city's next heat wave. Even if you currently set your AC for energy-saving mode, the truth is that it's still cycling and burning up energy. With coolNYC, you can fully turn off your unit so that it's using zero energy. That can make a big difference, especially since New York City has roughly six million air conditioners that account for about 20 percent of the city's energy consumption.
In addition to cutting your electric bill, participating in coolNYC also helps preserve the city's electric grid. This, in turn, reduces the odds of local power outages.
What are you waiting for? Click here to enroll in the coolNYC program.