2006_08_conedwork.jpgAs we appreciate the fact that last week's heat wave was last week, the NY Times' Sewell Chan has an article about that the little-known fact that turned-off appliances that are still plugged-in still draw electricity. We mentioned the "standby mode" issue last week, noting that is why Con Ed asks people to actually unplug TVs, printers, computers, and the like when the power demand is high. (It probably isn't a bad idea to unplug them at other times, too.) Many people interviewed were surprised, saying they would have unplugged their various gadget chargers or shut down their computers, with one woman commenting, "The laptop is always connected to the source. I didn’t know that made a difference.” Well, it makes some difference - the Consumer Electronics Association spokesman says that gadgets don't compare to the electricity air-conditioining or lighting sucks out of the system. Which makes us wonder if you've changed your electrical consumption habits? Gothamist thinks we're going to be a little more cautious these days - we know that our little home might not represent much, but if other people unplug one more appliance or use a fan instead of AC during milder hot days, who knows what can happen?

And speaking of last week's heat wave, the city is going to investigate why at least 22 people died from heat-releated causes last week and will see if they could have been prevented. The ME's office says that the number may increase as they continue to do autopsies. What's sad is that many seem to be elderly or disabled people; the stories seem to indicate some people didn't want to leave their homes or turn on fans for fear of a higher electrical bill.

Finally, we're not sure if Con Ed was hacked or if this is how it usually is, but when you Google "Con Ed," the Con Ed description says, "Provides electric service in New York City (except for a small area of Queens), and most of Westchester..." (see image). We called Con Ed, who said they do provide electricity to all five boroughs (but not gas), but maybe LIPA powers up some of Queens. Do you know?

Check out joshbousel's Con Ed On It set on Flickr