For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.
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What can I do to reduce my business energy costs?
Office buildings in the U.S. spend an annual average of $1.34 per square foot on electricity and 18 cents per square foot on natural gas. In a typical office building, lighting, heating, and cooling represent between 54% and 71% of total use depending on climate, making those systems the best targets for energy savings. Click here to read the NSTAR Article "Managing Energy Costs in Office Buildings".
Why do my lights dim when my air conditioner starts?
There may be a loose connection somewhere on the circuit or the circuit is overloaded.
Do my smoke detectors ever need to be changed?
Yes, even hard wired smoke detectors should be changed every ten years.
What is a carbon-monoxide detector and why do I need one?
Massachusetts law now requires all homes to have carbon-monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is very hazardous and dangerous gas which comes from oil burners or other heat units.
When are carbon-monoxide detectors required?
They are required in all homes by March 31, 2006.
Where should carbon-monoxide detectors be installed?
In every bedroom and on every floor.
Is my 100 amp service adequate?
It all depends on what size load you have added since the service was installed. An electrician should be called to evaluate it.
Should I get a generator for my home?
Yes, any home or business that is prone to power outages should have some kind of backup power source.
Will my electric bill go down if I upgrade my service?
It is hard to say but in most cases there is a reduction in the electric bill due to the new installation, tighter connections, and balance of power. The amount of savings depends on your monthly electric bill.
What are some simple things I can do around the house to save on my electricity bill?
Change all your bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, change your thermostats to programmed thermostats, have an electrician check your meter socket and circuit panel to be sure all your connections are correct and tight, at times your electrical service should be replaced if old or degraded which would also save money. At times interior wiring may need to be upgraded also.
What is the difference between soft white, daylight and compact fluorescent bulbs for light quality and energy efficiency?
Compact fluorescent lights are the most efficient. Soft white and daylight are color shades that fluorescent bulbs emit. Soft white is a gentle shade of light whereas daylight is just what it says, it's like being outside in the day light. Light quality from fluorescent is a lower level of light force than incandescent.
Can I use an extension cord to run my swimming pool?
No, this is a major hazard and should never be considered.
Do I need Ground fault outlets in my garage?
Yes, they are required in garages, outside, kitchens, bathrooms, pools, hot tubs, and any area subject to cause electric shock.
I have 2-prong outlets in my home. What will it take to change them to 3-prong?
A GFCI outlet can replace a 2-prong outlet as long as it is properly marked for no ground or a separate ground wire can be run from the outlet to a water pipe and attached to the ground screw on the 3-prong outlet.
Can I use multiple power strips on my electronic equipment?
As long as they aren't overloaded. A better solution is to install a separate circuit to supply power to all of your equipment which will provide better protection.
Are all extension cords the same?
No, the lower the wire gauge # the better the cord. For instance a 14-gauge cord can handle a heaver load than a 16-gauge cord.