Back then, there was no Internet. For that matter, the environmental movement was only in its infancy, as was Vavalle's career with Con Edison.
Now an operating general supervisor in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere, Vavalle was recently handpicked by the company to act as spokesperson for energy efficient measures in a short online video. The short featured ways to save costs through Con Edison as well as other, regular common-sense solutions.
"I was asked if I would do a video and talk about going green," said Vavalle. "I'm not a professional actor or anything. They're kind of taking me off the street."
Vavalle was chosen for the energy saving measures he takes in his own life to reduce energy costs and lower carbon emissions. He said he buys energy efficient light bulbs, blocks natural sunlight from overheating his home during the days, and cools it with fans, in addition to his central air conditioning system, to bring down his costs.
"People are always a little reluctant to go green, but it really doesn't take that much effort," Vavalle said. "Its really mind over matter."
Vavalle was raise in Bensonhurst, a neighborhood he moved to with his family as a young boy. After graduating from New Utrecht High School, and taking courses at a city community college, he got his start with Con Edison in 1975.
"I started where everybody else starts - at the bottom," said Vavalle. "I worked my way up from helper to supervisor and field operations planner" before being named a general operating supervisor. Vavalle currently serves on an emergency response team that answers calls in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan, as well as in Westchester.
He admitted at first making a video (and everything that went with it: the bright lights of a studio, the makeup) was a little intimidating. However, Vavalle quickly warmed to his task.
"You learn something new every day," Vavalle said. "I got to see its not that easy to make a video." Vavalle can be seen dispensing expert advice at www.youtube.com/ConEdisonNY. (Daniel Bush)