National Grid e-newsletter
Spring 2013

Gas Pipeline Safety

Spring Weather Safety

Spring is finally here so we’re expecting warmer temperatures and more sunshine. But because spring can also mean thunderstorms and lightning, it’s important to know steps you can take to be safe at this time of year.

First Aid Kit

Emergency kit

  • First aid kit, including medications for family members
  • Canned food and a can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Extra clothing
  • Portable radio and flashlights (make sure the batteries are fresh)
  • Extra batteries

If you hear that a storm may be approaching, be sure to charge cell phones, laptop computers, and tablets and keep them in an area where they can be found easily.

You might also want to make sure that electronic devices and appliances are plugged into surge protectors. If they’re not, unplug them until the storm passes. Surge protectors safeguard electronics and appliances from strong rushes of electricity than can occur when power goes on and off.

If the power goes out

Be very careful if you’re using candles for light. Never leave a candle burning unless there is someone to watch it.

Keep the doors closed in your refrigerator and freezer. Because refrigerators and freezers are designed to keep the cold in, food can stay fresh for up to nine hours without electricity. Frozen food usually lasts about one day if the power is out.

Downed wires

Keep an eye out for downed power lines. If you see one, leave the area immediately and call 911. If a power line falls on your car, remain inside the car until help arrives.


Your chances of being struck by lightning are very, very small – only one in 600,000 – but it’s still important to follow some simple safety rules. Most lightning injuries happen when people are outdoors in warm weather during the afternoon and evening.

If you can hear thunder, lightning isn’t far behind. Make sure you’re inside if the sky turns dark and looks stormy. If you’re caught outside during a storm and there isn’t shelter nearby, go to an open space away from trees, poles or metal objects.

Hopefully, you won’t get caught outside in a thunderstorm or lose power. But if you do, remember these safety tips.



Energy Efficiency

Green Energy Careers

Solar Panel Installation

What would you like to do when you grow up?

If you’re the type of person who cares about the environment and wants to help others, then you might want to think about a career in “green energy.” You won’t have to decide on a career for a while but it’s fun to learn about different jobs.

Another advantage is that green energy sources will be around forever. As long as the sun shines, the wind blows and rivers run, we’ll always have green energy. On the other hand, our supply of oil, gas and coal will run out at some point. So we need to plan for the future.

Why isn’t all energy green?

While it’s true that there are many advantages to green energy, most energy is still produced by burning oil, gas and coal. Water power, or hydroelectric power, is a good way to produce electricity but not all areas of the country have running water that can power a hydroelectric plant.

The equipment used to turn wind and sunshine into energy is expensive and is not yet capable of providing all the energy we need. But because there is a great need and interest in green energy, there are more jobs in this field than ever before.

What kinds of jobs are there?

There are many different types of jobs in green energy. Some require special training or a college degree but there are many others that only require a high school education.

Wind Turbine Construction

Scientists and engineers are needed to invent new and better ways to produce green energy and deliver it to a home or business.

It’s also important to find ways to measure energy so we can make sure we’re using it wisely. If you like math and science, these could be possible jobs for you.

There are construction jobs for workers who install and repair solar panels, generators, wind turbines and hydroelectric equipment. And green energy companies need office help, salespeople, energy technicians and truck drivers.

You might also get a job teaching about green energy. So no matter what your interest or skill, there’s probably a green energy job for you.



GreenUp program

What is Biomass Energy?

When someone mentions “green energy” or “renewable energy”, we think of wind, water and solar power. But there is another source for green energy that we don’t hear about as much, even though it is used quite a bit.

It is called biomass. It’s a little more complicated than the other types of green energy and a little more difficult to understand. But until recently, biomass produced more green energy than solar and wind power combined.

Biomass produces electricity, heat and fuel from decaying plants and animal waste. As these things are decaying, they create methane gas, which can be turned into fuel for automobiles, trucks and farm equipment. Methane can also be burned in power plants to generate electricity.

Sources of Biomass Produced Methane

Landfills, where garbage is dumped, are a good source for methane gas. When the garbage decays, it gives off methane. Special pipelines in the landfills collect the gas. It can then be stored in tanks and shipped to power plants to make electricity. This kind of biomass fuel is called landfill gas.

Farms are another good source for methane. In places where there are large groups of farm animals – like cows, cattle, horses and chickens – the animal droppings, or manure, can be collected and stored. When this animal waste decays, it gives off methane gas, just like the rotting garbage in the landfill.

In some cases, the methane gas can be used right on the farm to produce heat and electricity.

One of the largest sources for biomass is wood waste. Lumber plants and farms create wood waste, which is loaded into big trucks and driven to a biomass plant. The wood is burned in furnaces that boil water used to run steam turbines. These steam turbines power generators that produce electricity.



Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...Relive

Taking responsibility

Neighborhood cleanupWe all understand that using less energy is good for the environment. But sometimes it appears to be such a big challenge that we start to think: What can one person do? What can I do?

Set an example

There are many ways that you, as an individual can save energy at home and at school. By showing others that you understand how important it is, you encourage your friends and family to save energy, too.

At home, you can make it a habit of turning off lights, radios and televisions when they’re not being used. You can also make sure the dishwasher is full before turning it on and turning the thermostat down, especially when no one is home.

Recycling is another good way to save energy. Because it takes energy to haul and treat garbage, the less trash you create, the less energy is used.

If you have younger brothers and sisters, they’ll notice what you’re doing and learn how they can help the environment. Even older brothers and sisters, as well as your parents, will be encouraged to do things that save energy.

Join or start a club

If your school has an environmental, recycling or energy club, sign up and see if you can get your friends to join. This is a fun way to learn about new ways to save energy and recycle.

If there isn’t a club at your school, ask your teacher how you can start one. It’s a great way to make new friends and help the community.


If there’s energy conservation group or recycling committee in your town, tell your parents about it and find ways that you can help. It might be a good project for the whole family. Groups like that are always looking for volunteers.

Educate yourself

Read about energy conservation, renewable energy and recycling in newspapers, magazines, library books and on the Web. You can also read about energy programs and green energy on the National Grid website (

Discuss what you’ve learned with your family, friends and teachers.

You might not think that one person can make a big difference but that’s not true. Everyone is part of a larger network of family, friends, students and co–workers. By learning, setting an example and volunteering, you can get many people involved.

And who knows? You might be someone who discovers the next great energy–saving invention.


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