SUEZ: Winterizing Your Home

Winter is officially here and now is a good time to prepare homes for freezing temperatures and conditions.
For our 500,000 valued customers in Rockland and Westchester, SUEZ has developed this 70-second video that illustrates basic winterizing steps for homeowners. These tips can help prevent costly plumbing repairs.
Please feel free to share this video with your friends. It is also posted on our Facebook page titled “SUEZ Water New York Division.”
Happy holidays from your friends at SUEZ!
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Customer Advisory Panel—Members Needed

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We’re listening! Customer feedback is important to SUEZ and our Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) plays an important role by communicating directly with the company. The CAP helps us obtain feedback from customers on a variety of issues such as the water supply, water quality, conservation, rates and service.

Members also “weigh in” on the development of new programs and provide guidance before these initiatives are launched. For example, meeting topics have included conservation programs, our website and theft of service issues. Participants are encouraged to discuss topics of interest to them or issues brought to their attention by other customers.

Our ultimate goal is to use CAP feedback to improve our service and our communications.

MEMBERSHIP

The CAP consists of about 12 members who each serve a three year term. Members must be SUEZ customers, attend quarterly meetings and provide feedback, comments and suggestions. Each member is compensated $50 per meeting for participating.

MEETINGS

CAP meetings take place four times a year, typically in the evening. Meetings for our Westchester customers are held at our office in New Rochelle while meetings for our Rockland customers are held at our office in West Nyack.

JOIN US

We are looking for enthusiastic customers to help us as we constantly strive to improve our service.

For more information, please contact our CAP moderator, Michelle Vaccarino:

We look forward to hearing from you!

RBA Announces 2016 Green Council Awards, SUEZ sponsors Water category

The Rockland Business Association’s Green Council announced the winners of its 7th Annual Green Council Awards at the organization’s monthly general membership lunch on Oct. 20. The Green Council serves as a tool to educate, promote and advocate to the local Rockland business community the benefits of adopting green principles. This year, SUEZ served as a presenting sponsor for the Water category.

SUEZ’ Vice President/General Manager Chris Graziano presented the Water category award to Rockland Country Club.

Rockland Country Club operates and maintains a 150-acre 18-hole championship golf course, a driving range, a full service club house, a swimming pool and tennis courts. The business has made considerable conscious efforts to minimize water waster, and practice business-minded water conservation. Unlike other nearby golf courses, which can pay up to $70,000 a year for potable “city water,” Rockland Country Club irrigates from its own underground spring- and rain-fed pond, at a small fraction of the cost. A fountain, specialized fish, and a soundwave system control algae to avoid the use of chemicals. Tall vegetation around the pond’s edge filters the water of contaminants, and a computerized pump house with a living “green roof” minimizes water use.

Rockland Country Club’s Matt Ceplo, also assisted in securing the Club’s designation as a New York DEC Environmental Leader (NYEL), which included a commitment to decrease the amount of water used for irrigation by 13 percent. To learn more about NYEL, visit: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/61113.html.

Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R), which served as the overall sponsor for the ceremony, presented Innovative Plastics Inc. with the Energy Conservation Category award.

Innovative Plastics is a national plastics thermoforming company, specializing in packaging for cosmetics, cell phones, electronics, medical equipment, food and industrial equipment.

Over the past two years, Innovative Plastics has participated in O&R’s C & I (Commercial and Industrial Program). The company has replaced one large thermoformer with a more energy efficient model and is in the process of replacing two more, while also upgrading all existing light fixtures to LEDs.

Combined, the three thermoformer replacements and the lighting upgrade are estimated to reduce Innovative Plastic’s electrical usage by more than 600,000 kWh/year, equating to more than $100,000 in energy costs saved/year.

Green Meadow Waldorf School presented the award for the Solid Waste Reduction Category to Keep Rockland Beautiful. Keep Rockland Beautiful (KRB) has served Rockland County for over 19 years.

KRB’s bi-annual cleanup and education campaigns – the Fall Waterways Cleanup and Great American Cleanup – employ thousands of volunteers of all ages throughout Rockland. These campaigns not only remove tons of harmful litter and pollutants from the county’s streets, parks and waterways, they are an excellent vehicle for teaching about litter prevention, waste reduction, natural resource protection and recycling.

Volunteers are provided with clear plastic bags to sort all the recyclable glass, metal, and plastic containers they encounter. KRB partners with municipal, county, and state highway departments to have the bags of recyclables taken to the Materials Recovery Center in Hillburn.

Instrumentation Laboratory sponsored the Transportation Improvement Category, which was awarded to Rockland Community College (RCC).

RCC has a Partnership with 511NY Rideshare to encourage students and faculty to carpool to campus. The new Rideshare portal facilitates that effort. RCC has also implemented five bus routes, offers special student discounts for TOR passes, indoor and outdoor waiting area for buses and offers online courses instead of on-campus for continuing education in a variety of majors to decrease commuting needs.

Rockland Community College Sustainability Program is identified as the careful and concerned use of natural resources to maintain our daily living without endangering the well-being of the future.

More information on the Rockland Business Association and the Green Council can be found at: www.rocklandbusiness.org/.

 

Conservation in the Classroom

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SUEZ recognizes the importance of teaching children about conservation, and the opportunities that exist for partnering with local educators to teach youngsters about the significant role water plays in daily life.

To help shape a sustainable future, SUEZ offers free water-related school programs, working with teachers to educate students about the water cycle and importance of conservation. The age-appropriate lessons are developed by the Project WET (Water Education for Teacher) Foundation, a national organization that develops action-oriented lessons to help children understand and value water. These innovative, water-related activities are hands-on, easy to use and fun! Project WET activities are easily incorporated into a school’s existing curricula, including correlations to current Common Core, math and English language arts standards.

The lesson plans are customized for various age groups in grades K-8. They are easily adaptable for Science Fairs and “Green Day” initiatives for schools and youth groups. These programs not only have an immediate impact, but are also a long-term investment in our children and our environment. SUEZ school visits help to teach youngsters how water connects us all, and how important it is to use water wisely through personal responsibility and action. By reaching children, parents, and teachers – SUEZ promotes water awareness and empowers children to protect and preserve water resources for future generations.

To further its commitment to conservation and water education, in 2016 SUEZ has expanded classroom visits and lessons to include Westchester County in addition to the long-established Rockland County presence. The company is growing its educational efforts with a focus on more classrooms, schools and children – furthering the goal for conservation awareness and knowledge.

SUEZ also partners with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) to co-sponsor water education workshops for teachers.

If you would like SUEZ to visit your classroom or youth group, please email us at tours@suez-na.com.

For more information on Project WET, visit their website to review various education materials, water events or to join the worldwide network. You can also find more materials on the NY DEC website.

Convenient Options for Paying Your Water Bill

At SUEZ, we enjoy meeting customers who opt to pay their water bills at our office. However, we know your time is valuable and we want you to be aware that there are many other ways to pay your water bill. In addition to several convenient payment locations throughout the county, customers also have the ability to pay their water bill via direct debit, online payments, phone payments and more. Learn about all the payment options available to you, and details, below:

  • Go Paperless – Sign up for our eBilling service and your bill will be sent directly to your email inbox. You will then have the ability to pay your bill directly from your bank account. This service is free. For more information visit MySuezWater.com.
  • Direct Debit – Pay your bill automatically by having the payment electronically deducted from your checking account. Sign up for direct debit and never have to worry about missing a payment. The service is free. For more information visit MySuezWater.com.
  • In Person at Western Union Locations – Pay in cash at any Western Union location. This service is free. Find the locations nearest to you at: westernunion.com.
  • Online Payment – Log onto MySuezWater.com and pay through Western Union. They accept MasterCard, Visa, and cards with the STAR, NYCE, or PULSE logo. You can also make a payment using your checking or savings account. There is a Western Union convenience fee for this service. For more information visit MySuezWater.com.
  • 24-Hour Phone Payment – Make an automated credit, debit, ATM or check-by-phone payment 24-hours-a-day through Western Union by calling 1-888-608-6690. There is a Western Union convenience fee for this service.

 By Mail – You can mail your check or money order via the U.S. Postal Service. Please use the envelope in your bill or address your payment to:

SUEZ

PO Box 371804

Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7804

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Questions – As always, if you have any questions about payment options or your water bill, our customer service team is happy to assist you. Here’s how you can reach our representatives:

 

You can find more information and sign up for billing options at MySuezWater.com.

Water and Energy Savings for Homeowners

 

The current drought conditions have heightened everyone’s awareness of the need to conserve. All households rely on utilities such as electric, natural gas and water service to meet basic, everyday needs. Each day, you use these utilities to perform many daily tasks. But did you know that there is a direct relationship between energy and water? Pumping water to your home consumes a lot of energy — as does heating it for everyday use. Minor changes to your daily habits can help to reduce your water usage, in turn, helping to lower your energy footprint. This can contribute to lower utility bills – benefitting not only the environment, but your pocket as well! Here are some tips to reduce water and energy usage to save money on your utility bills:

Shower Tips

  • By switching to a water saving product, you save money on energy and water utilities. If your current showerhead was manufactured before 1992, switching to a water saving product could save you more than $260 a year if you have an electric water heater. Showerheads manufactured before 1992 use 2.5 times more water than efficient showerheads. Switching to a newer, more efficient water saving product will save you loads on water, which in turn helps you save energy and money, and protects the environment.
  • Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower needs enough energy to heat 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! Lower water usage means lower energy, and reduced utility bills!
  • Water heating accounts for 15% of home energy use, and the shower is probably your largest consumer of hot water. If you already have an ultra-low flow shower head, cutting a minute from your shower should save one to two gallons. Shorter showers lead to lower water and energy usage!

Water Heater Tips

  • Settings: Next to heating or cooling, water heating is typically the largest energy user in the home. To conserve energy, conserve hot water. Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit or about midway between the low and medium settings to help save energy and dollars.
  • Insulation Blanket: Unless your hot-water storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), install an insulation blanket. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs. If you don’t know your water heater tank’s R-value, touch it. A tank that’s warm to the touch needs additional insulation.

Laundry Tips

  • Wash and rinse laundry in cold water: Even without using warm or hot water, your laundry will still be clean, and using cold water saves $60 annually in a typical household.
  • Switch to a front-loading washing machine: These use one-third to one quarter the water per load compared to a top-loading model. As an added benefit, the extremely fast final spin cycle leaves clothes drier, also saving energy!

WaterSense/Energy Star

One of the simplest ways to save both water and energy is to install water–efficient products. WaterSense labeled products not only save water, but can help reduce your energy bills. Installing WaterSense labeled faucet aerators in your bathrooms, for example, costs just a few dollars but could save you enough electricity to dry your hair every day for a year!

You can choose from thousands of models of WaterSense labeled plumbing products. What’s more, you can be sure the products will not only save resources, but will perform well. All WaterSense labeled products are tested and independently certified to ensure they meet EPA’s criteria for both efficiency and performance.

Start saving both water and energy! For more information, visit the WaterSense website.

Rebates

In addition, some energy providers in our New York area offer programs to help you use water and energy more efficiently. These range from rebate programs to discounted prices on conservation devices. Learn more from our local energy providers below:

Smart Gardening and Lawn Maintenance

As the dry summer weather sets in, people tend to adjust by overwatering, a tendency that harms both their lawns and the environment. Such a steep increase in water use can put a strain on water supply. The average use of water in American households nearly doubles throughout the summer months, and it is almost entirely due to the increase in outdoor lawn and garden watering. However, there are effective conservation methods that can keep landscapes healthy, along with reducing water usage.

Conservation Gardening

With simple, sustainable conservation gardening, customers can significantly reduce outdoor water usage. This type of garden requires much less water than a traditional one to stay healthy and beautiful.

Select native and drought-tolerant plants and use water-wise gardening techniques to:

  • Reduce your outdoor water use
  • Create a colorful, natural garden
  • Spend less time on garden maintenance

Visit your local garden center to find native and drought-tolerant plants for your area. Visit the EPA Water Sense website: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/what_to_plant.html for more tips on water-efficient landscaping.

Smart Controllers

Outdoor sprinklers can account for 40 percent of household water use during the summer.

Smart controllers automatically adjust irrigation run times in response to weather conditions. They use sensors and weather information to manage watering times and frequency. As environmental conditions vary, the smart controller increases or decreases irrigation. Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually.

Water-Efficient Sprinklers

Water-efficient irrigation sprinklers deliver water more evenly to the landscape than traditional sprinklers and regulate pressure to help ensure a constant flow rate. These sprinklers have earned the WaterSense label, are best used with WaterSense labeled controllers and help provide more water-efficient irrigation equipment options to consumers and irrigation professionals.

Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles

The latest innovation in sprinkler technology, these nozzles turn a standard pop-up spray head into a precision device that saves water. These nozzles apply water more slowly and uniformly than conventional sprays, and heads are more resistant to wind, less likely to mist and significantly reduce run-off onto streets and sidewalks. In many cases, you can update your existing sprinkler heads with new rotary nozzles without having to replace the entire sprinkler body. On average, replacing one conventional fan spray nozzle with a rotating nozzle could save up to 1,300 gallons per year.

Drip Systems

Drip irrigation, or trickle irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and reduces fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone.

Why Use a Drip Irrigation System?

  • Minimal evaporation and overspray as well as lower water use than a traditional underground sprinkler system
  • Direct connection to the hose spigot without the need to cut into the home water line
  • Supply lines that can lie on the ground or under a layer of mulch, eliminating the trenches that underground systems require
  • Flexibility as your plants grow and spread
  • Customization for containers, raised beds, vegetable rows or shrubbery
  • Exact delivery, preventing distribution of water where it’s not needed or where it can encourage weed growth
  • Prevention of an overly moist environment that promotes fungal diseases
  • Gentle, precise watering that minimizes runoff and erosion
  • Drip irrigations systems use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional pop-up sprinkler systems and can save up to 30,000 gallons per year

 

Learn more at www.EPA.gov/watersense.