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Don’t let Your Valentine’s Day Gift Shock the Neighborhood


Want to show your Valentine


how much you care by delivering a heart-shaped “I Love You” balloon to his or her office or home? Hang on tight.


Mylar balloons, constructed of


metalized nylon so they’re extra-shiny and easy to mold into fun shapes for parties and special occasions, are powerful conductors of electricity. So if you let one slip from your grip while you’re outside, you’ll not only lose your balloon, you could cause a power outage or even an injury. If one of these festive party


decorations floats into power lines or lands on an electrical substation, its metal coating could short out a cir- cuit and leave your neighborhood in the dark, or it could cause an electri- cal fire that damages the equipment. And if the balloon you’re carry-


ing is attached to a metallic ribbon and happens to brush an overhead line or another charged piece of equipment, it could shock or even electrocute you.


Hidden


Account Number If you see your account


number in this newsletter, call our office, identify yourself and the number. We will credit your electric bill $25. The number may be located anywhere in the newsletter and is chosen at random. If you don’t know your account


number, call our office or look on your bill. To get the credit, you must call before the next month’s newsletter is mailed.


The Energy Education Council


says the balloons are even dangerous indoors if they come into contact with an exposed wire. So even though Mylar balloons


are popular because they hold their helium for so long, the council advises parents to puncture, deflate and dispose of the balloons after the


party’s over instead of letting them float around the house or yard until they lose their shape. And, of course, if your balloon


gets tangled in a power line, call your NFEC to report it. Never get close enough to a live wire to try to dis- lodge the item yourself.


A Year of Savings


Got cabin fever this winter? Spend time making your home more energy ef- ficient and start saving for your summer vacation!


February: Adjust your water


heater. Turning down the temperature gauge to below 120 degrees can heat up your savings.


March: Stop air from escaping your home and money from escaping your wallet! Seal those leaky ducts.


April: Air leaks in your home add up. Caulking cracks and openings to the outside could save more than $200 a year.


May: Make sure your refrigerator is on your spring cleaning to-do list. Throw out expired items, clean the refrigerator inside 2705-001 and out, and check the temperature gauge. For maximum operating efficiency, a refrig- erator’s temperature should be between 37 and 40 degrees.


June: Replacing furnace and air conditioner filters regularly can have a big impact on a home’s energy use. Dirty filters can restrict air flow and re- duce the overall efficiency of your cool- ing system, forcing it to work harder on hot summer days.


July: Your home’s cooling costs can skyrocket during summer months. Keeping your thermostat set between 78 and 80 degrees can save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.


August: Heading out of town on vacation? Be sure to unplug all of your electronic devices like computers, moni- tor, printers, TV and cable boxes, DVD players, and microwaves. Electronics with digital displays and instant-on features consume energy even if they’re not in use.


September: Be a “fan-atic.” While


they don’t replace an air conditioner or a heat pump, fans move the air so every- one feels more comfortable. On a milder day, a fan is a much more energy- efficient choice than cranking up the air conditioning. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.


October: Get ready for winter by insulating your attic. Adding nine or more inches of insulation could save you more than $150 a year.


November: As the weather cools down, pull up your window shades. Keeping blinds open during cold weather lets heat from sunlight in, re- ducing the need to turn up your home’s thermostat.


December: Put a new ENERGY


STAR appliance at the top of your Christmas wish list. Upgrading appli- ances like washing machines to EN- ERGY STAR-rated models can save up to $140 per year.


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