“Benjamin Franklin may have discovered electricity, but it was the man who invented the meter who made the money.”
– Earl Wilson
As part of the North Shore Towers community, our residents enjoy many lifestyle benefits. One benefit that may have previously been overlooked is the self-generation of electricity from our very own total-energy plant. Following an extensive independent study and careful scrutiny, in September of this year your Board of Directors unanimously voted to continue to entirely generate our own electrical power versus buying it from Con Edison. This unique and independent ability will continue to save our cooperative valuable resources for years to come.
Our power plant utilizes six (6) 2,140 horsepower diesel generators that produce all the electricity, heat and air conditioning for our apartments and the common areas of the property, as well as the commercial establishments. There are also four (4) 700 horsepower auxiliary boilers used to produce additional heat when needed and, in hot weather, 4,000 tons of cooling equipment and circulating pumps are utilized.
However, this feat is not accomplished without the direct involvement of many skilled employees, primarily our Chief Engineer, Sal Castro. Employed by North Shore Towers for 32 years, he is responsible for the daily operation of the plant, as well as all equipment maintenance. Sal is a very knowledgeable licensed engineer and is an indispensable part of our daily operation. We are extremely fortunate to have Sal as part of our team.
One of the more common questions we receive in the management office is regarding how our electricity energy rate is established for billing purposes. Each apartment is individually metered for electricity in order to encourage conservation. It is important to know that, pursuant to the cooperative offering plan, “all electricity charges will be computed at rates and charges (including all fuel adjustments and taxes) equal to that which would be charged to the tenant-shareholder by Con Edison (or other utility having jurisdiction) if such electricity user had instead contracted for such electrical service directly from such utility company.”
Each meter is read by one of our staff members and the reading is forwarded to management for posting on your maintenance bill. Depending on which day the meter is read and posted, the number of days in your billing cycle may vary from month to month, as do the Con Edison rates on which the charges are based. Kindly be aware of this when reviewing your energy charges. Residents frequently call the management office when their energy charge goes up from the previous month, but never call when it goes down the following month due to reduction in the Con Edison rate or fewer days in the billing cycle as compared to the previous month.
Many appliances such as televisions, washers, electric dryers, Verticon units and refrigerators add to the cost of electricity bills. In addition, many modern conveniences that are relatively new such as computers, printers, cordless phones, fax machines, answering machines, cellular phone chargers, video recorders, cable boxes and accent lighting can add significantly to your electric bill. Simple steps like clearing out perishable items and unplugging your refrigerator when you will be out of your apartment for an extended period of time could reduce your electricity bill noticeably. It should further be noted that older refrigerators and those with coils that are not kept clean are less efficient and will cost more to operate. You should also consider replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs with much more efficient compact florescent light bulbs, many types of which are available for sale at our cost in the maintenance office.
North Shore Towers remains a unique property and community in many ways, and as Thanksgiving approaches we as a community have many good reasons to be thankful. You may be reminded of this the next time you see our lights burning brightly in the distance as you return home.
On behalf of everyone who works at North Shore Towers and Country Club, I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.