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Why is New York Electricity So Expensive?

Category: Home Improvement

The cost of living in New York is extremely high, but it goes beyond just the price of housing. In fact, despite New York households using about 40% less electricity than the average US household, we pay about the same as everyone else. What gives? There are a lot of factors that contribute to it. We’ll explain.

The Bottlenecks of New York City

New York and Long Island use about 60% of the state’s electricity in a small, very densely populated area. The high demand can’t be supplied by the power plants in the city, so energy has to be brought in from plants upstate, like the hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls. This creates bottlenecks for electricity. Grid operators are constantly working to ensure that the city’s electricity needs are being met. If the demand ever gets too high, generators called “peakers” are switched on to supply the power the city needs, but these cost much more than typical power generators. Even though they are only used for a few days a year, consumers have to cover the cost needed for “peakers” in their everyday rates, so they can be ready when peak demands hits.

The Complexity of New York City

Infrastructure work in a huge city is a huge undertaking. Consolidated Edison, the largest electric utility company in the state, has a vast web of powerlines and networks. Every year they need to make upgrades to their system and with 80% of their power lines being 40 or more years old, they’ll need to make a lot more upgrades in the near future and offsetting that cost to consumers.

Will it get better?

It remains to be seen. Indian Point, the nuclear power plant that supplies a quarter of the city’s electricity is set to close completely in 2021. The state wants to invest in wind and solar, but it’s unclear how quickly those can get online and supply power effectively. Hopefully, this won’t affect prices too much. While we will most likely see a drop in average demand due to energy-efficient appliances, peak demand could still be quite high and even grow in the coming years.

At Master Plumbing Heating Cooling, we want to help your home be more energy-efficient and cost-effective when it comes to your home’s vital systems. Whether it’s a new water heater or a ductless mini-split that can both heat and cool your home, we can give you the tools to lower your energy bill for years to come. Just give us a call at (631) 391-9292 or fill out a contact form online.

At Master Plumbing Heating Cooling, we know we’ve just been hit with our first bout of snow this winter here on Long Island, and it’s probably got you thinking about last year’s winter weather. How did your home fare in all of the snow and ice? If you had ice dams on your roof last winter, chances are you’re going to have them again this year — and they may even cause water damage to your home’s roof and interior this time around. To protect your house from potential water damage this winter, now is the time to take active measures to prevent ice dam formation on your roof.

What Your Ice Dams Are Telling You

Ice dams begin to form when heat in your attic melts the snow and ice that has accumulated on your roof. This melted snow then flows down your roof and refreezes along the edges where it is cooler. Ice dams and large icicles gradually begin to form, causing other melted snow to pool up on your roof and leak into your home.

Because ice dam formation starts with heat in the attic, ice dams along the edge of your roof are a clear sign that your attic is not properly insulated. This means that in addition to your home taking physical damage from ice dams, you are also losing money through wasted heat leaving your home. If you notice ice dams on your roof, it’s important to act quickly to minimize physical damage and put an end to wasted energy through your attic.

What You Can Do to Prevent Ice Dams

Preventing ice dams starts with scheduling a home energy audit. Through a home energy audit, you’ll find out where exactly where heat is leaving your home. An energy expert will test for air leakage and insulation gaps, paying specific attention to your attic where heat loss is leading to ice dam formation. Then, your energy expert will recommend air sealing and insulation in the places in your attic that need it most. Air sealing will eliminate those holes and cracks that are leaking warm air, while insulation will prevent heat from your home from gathering in the attic in the first place. Once you hire a professional to air seal and insulate your home, you can rest easy knowing that your roof will remain free of ice dams — not only this winter but for many winters to come.

Tired of ice dams wreaking havoc on your Long Island home? Call (631) 391-9292 or contact us to schedule a home energy audit with Green Homes Long Island!

Getting your furnace, boiler, or ductless mini-split serviced is a great way to avoid unexpected breakdowns, poor performance and high heating bills in winter.

But what exactly happens when a professional technician comes to tune up your unit?

Keep all call outs the same

And the results?

Health & Safety

  • A home that’s free of dangerous carbon monoxide from the furnace or boiler

Comfort

  • No sudden heating breakdowns in the middle of winter

Savings

  • Equipment runs at peak efficiency, lowering heating bills

Green Homes Long Island is your one stop shop for all of your heating service and maintenance needs. Whether you have a traditional furnace, a gas furnace, a boiler, or a mini-split, our technicians can service them. Schedule your heating maintenance today!

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If you’ve ever wished for a more comfortable home or lower energy bills, you’ve probably also imagined the upgrades you think will get you there. You may want new windows and doors, new insulation, or a more efficient furnace. But are these investments really the ones that will make your Nassau or Long Island home the haven you wish for?

Take our Cozy Quiz and see how well you know the best path to a more energy efficient, cozy home.

What is the scientific assessment of your home’s systems and how well they work together to keep your home comfortable, healthy and energy efficient?

A: Home energy audit
B. Blower door test
C. Infrared imaging
D. Combustion safety test

Which of these help you conserve energy, save money and increase your home’s comfort?

A. Wearing more layers
B. Installing or upgrading your home’s insulation
C. Air sealing
D. Air sealing and insulation

Mold, dampness, rodents and bugs, high energy bills, foul odors and heightened allergies or asthma symptoms are all signs of _________.

A. An aging roof
B. A crawl space problem
C. Bigfoot in your basement
D. An inefficient furnace

Signs that you may need an insulation upgrade in your attic include:

A. Strange sounds coming from up there
B. Difficulty heating and cooling your house
C. High energy bills
D. Cold drafts in winter

Which of these is not true about installing a new heating and cooling system in your home?

A. New furnaces are more energy efficient than old ones
B. A new HVAC system will reduce your utility bills
C. Newer heating and cooling systems use less energy to heat and cool your home
D. A bigger furnace is always better

Which of these could help you pay less for heating and cooling your home all year long?

A. A home energy audit
B. Insulation and air sealing
C. Charging your teenagers rent
D. Mini-split installation

Answers:

What is the scientific assessment of your home’s systems and how well they work together to keep your home comfortable, healthy and energy efficient?

A. Home energy audit

When conducting a home energy audit, we examine every component of your home using a variety of techniques and tools to assess home performance (including a blower door test, infrared imaging and combustion safety testing) so you’ll know precisely how your home uses and loses energy and the most effective upgrades you can make to improve it.

Which of these help you conserve energy, save money and increase your home’s comfort?

D. Air sealing and insulation

Stop wearing your down jacket inside! Air sealing and insulation together will greatly increase energy efficiency, lower monthly bills and make your home more comfy for the whole family.

Mold, dampness, rodents and bugs, high energy bills, foul odors and heightened allergies or asthma symptoms are all signs of _________.

B. A crawl space problem

A neglected crawl space can cause all these problems. Crawl space encapsulation ensures healthier indoor air quality, greater year-round comfort, increased home energy efficiency and lower bills.

Signs that you may need an insulation upgrade in your attic include:

B. Difficulty heating and cooling your house
C. High energy bills
D. Cold drafts in winter

Attic insulation will help keep your whole house at more comfortable temperatures, lower your energy bills and help stop those cold drafts in winter. The strange sounds coming from your attic are another story…

Which of these is not true about installing a new heating and cooling system in your home?

D. A bigger furnace is always better

When it comes to furnaces, bigger is not always better. In fact, a smaller furnace could be a more energy-efficient choice for your home. The rest of these statements are true.

Which of these could help you pay less for heating and cooling your home all year long?

A. A home energy audit
B. Insulation and air sealing
D. Mini-split installation

While all of these options could help with your heating and cooling bills, we think you’ll find it far more effective (and much easier) to call Green Homes for an energy audit, insulation and air sealing or to talk about mini-split installation in your home.

Ready to Optimize Your Home Comfort?

Call the experts at Green Homes Long Island! We’ve been helping Long Island homeowners increase the comfort and energy efficiency of their homes for more than 25 years. We provide prompt, reliable service for every aspect of home comfort.

From crawl space to attic, plumbing to insulation and HVAC service and upgrades, our certified team of experts takes an individualized approach to your home in order to find the solutions that address your energy issues in the most effective, affordable way possible.

Help your house ace the cozy test with the most effective upgrades. Contact us or call (631) 391-9292 to set up your home energy audit today.

close up photo of Old and used Water faucet leaking with dripping drops during bright, hot sunny day.

Make Sure Your Home Is Working Together

Your house is a lot like a puzzle,where many pieces work together to influence home comfort.

If you want to make your home more comfortable,make sure you focus on the right pieces of the puzzle.

The key pieces of the home comfort puzzle are:

  • Air sealing for your attic
  • Doors
  • Ducts
  • insulation to stabilize indoor temperatures
  • High efficiency HVAC units for more efficient heating and cooling,
  • Pil-to-gas conversion for your heating system,
  • Tankless waterheater for more efficient water heating.

When all of these pieces of the puzzle are in the right place,your home will be more comfortable and energy efficient.

Talk to a home comfort expert today.

facade of home with manicured lawn, and backdrop of trees and blue sky

When you’re trying to make your health a priority, it will help to cut out refined sugar and focus on eating more vegetables. While those changes will have an impact, they alone won’t be enough to make you healthy—especially if you’re under a lot of stress, not sleeping enough, and rarely exercise.

Just like your body, your home works as a system. One positive change to improve energy efficiency will make a difference, but it won’t be enough to tip the scale completely. So if you’re looking to truly make your Long Island house more energy efficient (and save on your energy bills), it’s key to focus on several aspects, instead of just assuming that switching to LED light bulbs will qualify you as having an energy efficient home.

Start with an Energy Audit to Improve Energy Efficiency

When your home is wasting energy, it’s usually easy to tell since your bills will be out of control. Especially during the summer, you might attribute it to an old air conditioner and think that upgrading to a new energy efficient model will solve your problems. However, the surest way to understand what’s going on with your home and find actionable solutions to its issues is with an energy audit.

An energy audit combines scientific tests like blower door testing and infrared imaging with expert inspections to analyze a home’s efficiency. By thoroughly reviewing everything from the building envelope and heating and air conditioning systems to ductwork and other combustion appliances, you’ll be able to comprehensively understand which improvements would have the greatest impact on your home’s efficiency.

Whole-Home Solutions for Greater Efficiency

Once you know exactly why your home is wasting energy, you’ll be able to make the upgrades it needs. So while it may, in fact, turn out that your air conditioner needs to be replaced to create a more efficient system, you might also need air sealing and insulation in the attic to stop heat from coming in and cool air from escaping.

Switching your light bulbs from traditional incandescents to LEDs might be a good first step, but a home’s energy efficiency generally benefits the most from improvements like:

  • Air sealing
  • Insulation
  • High-efficiency heating and air conditioning units
  • Duct Sealing
  • Energy efficient water heating or even tankless water heating
  • Using natural gas instead of oil

Green Homes Long Island: Your Partner for an Energy Efficient Home

Understanding how your entire home works together to influence energy efficiency is essential. Our team of experts at Green Homes Long Island will be able to help you make high impact upgrades for greater efficiency, as well as improved home comfort and health.

Contact us or call (631) 391-9292 to get started with making your home more energy efficient by scheduling an energy audit today!

Condensation on an old window of a home

Nassau and Long Island homeowners are doing their best to get outside and enjoy the comfortable temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately. Once they get home, though, many are running into the same problem—excessive levels of indoor humidity.

Humidity within the home can make sleeping, cooking dinner or simply relaxing on the couch nearly impossible activities, and it’s not uncommon for people to suffer unnecessarily summer after summer thinking that there’s simply nothing that can be done.

The fact is, reducing humidity levels in your home and boosting home performance isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think, and you can get started on doing so immediately. Here are just a few tips to point you in the right direction—especially if you or a family member suffer from allergies or asthma.

Focus on Ventilation

Humidity allows water vapor to form condensation on flat surfaces, especially in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. The key to mitigating this issue is to utilize fans and other sources of ventilation as often as possible. When taking a shower, for example, keep the fan running for the duration and at least fifteen minutes afterward. This will help to clear excess moisture from the air, which can result in odor and mold growth.

Install an Air Purifier

While air purifiers come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, the important thing to understand about them is that the vast majority actually work. Some air purifiers are suitable for bedrooms and offices, while others are designed to clean and purify the air in larger spaces. You’ll not only see a reduction in humidity, but pathogens floating through the air, too.

Keep the Temperature Down

It’s summer, which means most of us have already turned our thermostats down. You may enjoy a little bit of heat in the morning, perhaps, but this is an important time to remember that any excess hot air will inevitably lead to increased humidity. Keeping temperatures down throughout your home is essential, so be sure to crank your AC on the hottest days of the year.

Additionally, you can get a lot of mileage out of using appliances such as your dishwasher or laundry machine and clothes dryer during the coolest parts of the day or night, which will help to keep indoor temperatures from rising unnecessarily.

Looking for more tips on how to reduce humidity levels this summer? The team at Green Homes Long Island is here to help.

Contact us or call (631) 391-9292 today to learn more about keeping your home comfortable this summer.

Suburban Luxury Home Landscaped Front Lawn

Men who are calculating cost savings from energy. Hand holding a pen. Detail of house efficiency rating on digital tablet screen. Concept of ecological and bio energetic house. Energy class.

It’s easy to get carried away with home improvements. You start dreaming of a new kitchen or an updated bathroom, and before you know it, that’s where your budget is going.

With such a competitive real estate market here on Long Island, it’s important to remember what truly adds value to a home. There are undoubtedly upgrades you can choose that will bring value to you by being more functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, if there are basic things in your home that go unaddressed, your home’s value will not be what you might think.

The surest way to increase the value of your home when you live there, and if you ever decide to sell, is with energy efficiency improvements. These upgrades will improve your day to day comfort with greater savings, while also appealing to potential buyers and helping you see a return on your investment.

The Effect of Energy Efficiency on Home Value

Bills pile up quickly. On top of paying for groceries and anything the kids may need, you pay for your mortgage, insurance, and wireless bill. What if you could eliminate some of those expenses by paying less each month for your energy bills?

While the notion of lower bills surely appeals to you, it is also something that new home buyers are looking for. This is precisely why energy efficiency is so important in a home, in fact, the majority of home buyers rate energy efficiency as the top unmet housing concern, above updated kitchens and storage space. Considering the following statistics:

  • Energy efficiency would cause about 81% of home buyers to choose one home over another.
  • Average home buyers are willing to pay an additional $7,095 for a house that shows lowered energy bills of $1,000 per year.
  • Energy efficient homes tend to sell an average of 18 days faster than their counterparts.

It’s official — if you want to appeal to buyers when you decide to sell, as well as lower your bills and live in a more comfortable home — it’s time to invest in energy efficiency upgrades.

Home Improvements for Added Comfort, Savings & Value

Understanding what improvements your home could benefit from starts with an energy audit. This assessment will offer conclusive insights into why your home is uncomfortable and inefficient. For example, most homes in Suffolk & Nassau County are not properly air sealed and insulated. Due to a lack of air sealing and insufficient insulation, problems like being too hot and too cold with constant drafts and high energy bills become the norm. Another common issue is outdated HVAC systems and oil heating.

Making these improvements will not only ensure comfort and savings, but they will also add value. In fact, a recent report from Remodeling magazine found that air sealing and attic insulation had an average 116% return on investment! Air conditioning and heating account for about 43% of your energy bills, so upgrading your HVAC units to new, energy-efficient models will go a long way towards savings. Finally, although oil prices haven’t risen quite as much in the past year, they will spike again. The best way to save and future-proof your home is by converting from oil to natural gas.

Making these upgrades will increase energy efficiency. This adds immense value by lowering your bills and increasing your year-round comfort. In addition, these energy efficiency improvements will add value to your home and make it more appealing to buyers, if you ever decide to sell.

Contact us or call (631) 391-9292 today to schedule a home energy audit and discover what improvements will add value to your home.

Grass grow up from dollars

Upgrading your home is always something you dream about, but it can be difficult to find room in your budget. When you do have the money, it can be tempting to spend it on something physical that you’ll look at every day, like a bathroom renovation or new flooring.

However, there are upgrades you should be making that aren’t always visible, but have a tangible impact on your home comfort and energy efficiency (which means lower monthly bills)! These kinds of upgrades add value whether or not you realize it and it’s easy to get financing and qualify for rebates.

Don’t let your home’s comfort or energy efficiency go unaddressed. See how simple affording improvements like installing a new energy efficient air conditioning or heating system, or finally upgrading your home’s air sealing and insulation can be.

Financing for Homeowners in Nassau & Long Island

Improving your home’s comfort and energy efficient shouldn’t be a complicated or costly process. Financing solutions are simple and help you get the improvements your home needs right away.

GreenSky Financing

With credit from GreenSky, you can apply online and receive a loan decision in just seconds. Once you’re approved, you’ll have the funding you need to get your home energy efficiency and comfort updates started right away.

Microf Financing for Heating & Air Conditioning Upgrades

If you have poor credit or have even filed for bankruptcy, Microf financing for your home’s new, energy efficient air conditioning or heating system is the solution. Features include:

  • Quick online application with a fast approval decision
  • Early repayment options
  • Flexible monthly repayment solutions
  • Ability to “rent to own” for residential replacement HVAC systems

Rebates & Incentives to Improve Your Home’s Efficiency & Comfort

In addition to financing options, there are rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. For example, PSEG Long Island can help you receive up to $600 back on your new central air conditioning unit. Be sure to ask the Green Homes Long Island team about any rebates that your project may qualify for.

Get Comfortable with Green Homes Long Island

At Green Homes Long Island, we provide home comfort, safety, and efficiency to residents across Suffolk and Nassau County. We’ll help you make the improvements your home needs while working with you to qualify for financing and rebates along the way.

Ready to see how affordable home efficiency upgrades can be? Contact us or call (631) 391-9292 to learn more and schedule an appointment for your home today!

Couple Facing Custom Kitchen Drawing Gradating To Photo.

When it comes to your home, you should never rest on your laurels. As the saying goes, there’s always room for improvement. No matter what your budget is, there’s probably a way you can invest in your home and make it safer, more comfortable, or more efficient. We’ll detail our favorite home improvements and the benefits of each. They’re all organized by budget as well!

Lower Budget Options

Dividing a Perrenial

Landscaping and garden projects can vary significantly in price. This one is an entirely free tip! Did you know that you can divide perennial plants? Wait until they look strong and healthy, and dig under the root line. From there, you can split the plant into smaller chunks.

Make sure the roots are preserved and don’t dry out when they are separated. Plant the divisions in the soil as deep as it once grew in and make sure they stay watered well. It’s best to do a division in cool weather, so as not to dry out the plant.

Re-Caulk

Caulk is what we use to seal the space between tiles and many of our water-using appliances like sinks, tubs, and showers. First, you’ll need to remove the old worn-out caulk. You can do this with a putty knife, though you made need something sharper like a small razor blade to get the little bits that are left behind.

Once it is spotless, you can clean the area with rubbing alcohol to prep for re-caulking. Caulk is reasonably cheap and should only cost you less than a dozen dollars. Drag along the tube and keep the amount as consistent as possible. It will seal after a short time, so try to smooth out any inconsistencies with a wet paper towel or finger.

 

Mid-Budget Projects

Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat can have a considerable impact on your home’s energy-efficiency, depending on your current habits. What’s great about this improvement is that it will eventually pay for itself. While you could spend a couple of hundred dollars on a top-of-the-line smart thermostat, you’ll undoubtedly be saving at least a few bucks a month on your heating and cooling. Why is it so efficient?

You’ll be able to program your system to heat and cool on a schedule. This means you won’t accidentally be wasting power when you’re not home. Additionally, you can set your thermostat to lower the temperature while you sleep, which will not only save money but can also help you sleep better, according to research!

Refresh Your Kitchen by Changing Out Your Knobs and Cabinet Pulls

A full-on kitchen remodel is not only expensive, but it can take weeks. That’s a lot of time with workers in your home and a lot of time for you to not have full access to one of the most critical areas of your home. Still, your kitchen is one of the most used areas of your home, and you want it to look fresh and new. One lower budget way to do this is simply by changing out the knobs on your cabinets.

You can likely change out all your knobs with almost any design you want for less than $100. Add in a fresh finish to the cabinets as well, and it will feel like you’ve done a full remodel for a tiny fraction of the cost.

The High Budget Game Changers

Home Renovation in New York

New Yorkers are always renovating their homes. The city and surrounding areas spend billions of dollars on it every year. Why? There are a few reasons. One of the main ones is the fact that New York has one of the largest percentages of homes over 50 years old of any U.S. metro area. This means outdated floorplans, energy inefficiency, and poor insulation. Renovations and home improvements can improve all of these. With the New York real estate market being so crowded, added perks from a home renovation can help your home stand out should you decide to sell it in the future.

However, there are some things you should keep in mind. Remember that you have rights when it comes to working with a contractor in New York City. Make sure you are using a licensed contractor. If the job costs more than $200, the contractor must be licensed. Using a licensed contractor helps protect you as a consumer, so you aren’t taken advantage of or scammed. Always get a contract in writing as well so you can protect yourself, and so you know what you are paying for. This city has a consumer’s home improvement guide available online here if you wish to learn more.

Functional Improvements

There are likely areas of your home that aren’t used well. Whether it’s a hidden second bathroom tucked away in an unused area of your home, or a garage that has become a mess of boxes that you try to say is “storage,” there are always parts of your home that could use some help.

One of our favorite examples of this is turning the garage into a functional living space. Garages can be great entertainment or work spaces. You can add a TV or a workbench, or even an old pinball machine. Whatever is your hobby or passion, your garage can be a great place to practice it. However, even if your garage is organized, we tend to avoid it because it gets freezing, especially during the winter. Typically, a garage is at least 10 to 15 degrees colder than the rest of the home. There is a great innovation that can solve this problem. It’s called ductless heating!

Connecting your garage to your existing ductwork is inefficient and expensive. Luckily, you can install a mini-split heat pump that’s sole job is to heat or even cool the room it’s attached to.

Value Improvements

If you’re looking to sell your home anytime soon, consider one of the following improvements to add value to your home.

  • Landscaping

  • New Garage Door

  • A stone veneer

All of these improvements add what we can “curb appeal” to your home. While these cost money in the short-term and don’t provide any added functionality to your home, they can make your home pop to potential buyers before they’ve even stepped foot inside. These typically pay for themselves when you sell the house, and until then can make your home loos beautiful and impressive from the outside.

Adding Efficiency

As a company, our goal is to help our customers get their water, heating, and cooling at the best efficiency possible. We do everything from oil to gas conversion, to ductless heating, to high-efficiency boilers and water heaters. In addition to improving your home’s vital systems, you can add efficiency by installing improved insulation or a smart thermostat.

We’ve just barely scratched the surface of home improvement projects. We’ve listed some of our favorites here, but there are so many more options than you can explore. Remember that new improvements can have unintended consequences. Always remember that you need your home’s vital systems to function correctly regardless of any work that is being done to your home.

If your home renovation plans include improvements or repairs to your existing heating, cooling, or plumbing systems, give us at Master a call at (631) 391-9292 or fill out an online contact form!