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Countdown to Summer: PG&E Encourages Customers to Prepare Homes for Warmer Weather, Explore Resources to Help Manage Energy Bills
OAKLAND, Calif., June 8, 2023
Taking Action Today Can Help Customers Reduce Energy Usage and Save on Energy Bills
OAKLAND, Calif., June 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The first day of summer is just around the corner, and many parts of California are already experiencing warmer temperatures. Summer months are typically when customers use more electricity, primarily for cooling their homes and businesses. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is encouraging customers to consider no- and low-cost actions today to improve energy efficiency at home and at work to help reduce energy costs.
PG&E offers resources all customers can use to help manage energy bills, as well as assistance programs for income-eligible customers.
"The summer is historically a period when customers use more energy and experience higher energy bills, especially in warmer climate zones where air conditioner (AC) units provide relief from the extreme heat. We're here to help our customers prepare and raise awareness of ways we can all use energy more efficiently and reduce costs," said Vincent Davis, PG&E's Vice President of Customer Operations and Enablement.
Air Conditioner Checklist
The air conditioner accounts for more than 40% of summer energy use. Three simple steps will ensure the system works more efficiently ahead of extreme temperatures and reduce energy costs:
- Schedule an annual safety and maintenance check by a licensed technician, and clear vegetation and debris near the AC unit so it can receive proper air flow. Cleaning the area around the AC unit could help save up to $15/year.
- Replace air filters, and make sure air vents and registers are not blocked by furniture, curtains or rugs. Cleaning or replacing dirty air filters monthly will make it easier for the AC unit to circulate air, which could save up to $15/year.
- Set the AC thermostat to 78 F degrees or higher when home, health permitting. Every degree above 78 F could save 2%.
Indoor Summer Prep
- Make sure ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise to push cooler air down into living spaces. Using fans to help keep air circulating can help save up to $15/year.
- Make sure windows open properly to let cooler air flow into the home in the morning and at night. Also, maintain blinds, drapes and curtains to help shade living spaces from the sun and keep the home cooler. Keeping blinds or drapes closed on sunny days can help to block the heat and save up to $30/year.
- Remove any dust from refrigerator coils or consider replacing an old fridge made prior to 2001 with a newer, energy-efficient model. Upgrading to an energy-efficient refrigerator could save up to $40/year.
- Make sure light fixtures are equipped with LED bulbs, which emit less heat, use less energy and could help save up to $260/year.
- Apply weatherstripping to doors, caulk around windows and doors, and install a door sweep on the garage door(s). Sealing these gaps can help to limit the flow of warm outside air into the home, keep the cool air inside, and help save up to $120/year.
Outdoor Pool Summer Prep
- Limit the amount of time the pool pump runs, and consider investing in a variable speed pool pump, which could help save up to $625/year.
- Use a pool cover to help keep your heated pool warm and reduce the amount of energy needed for heating. This could help save up to $1,300/year.
For more information on ways to improve energy efficiency, visit pge.com/summer.
Resources to Help Customer Manage Summer Energy Bills
PG&E customers can benefit by participating in a variety of programs to prepare for higher summer energy costs:
- Personalized Rate Comparison supports customers by providing the best rate plan options for their household, which can help save money on energy bills.
- Budget Billing averages out energy costs for more predictable monthly payments and helps customers avoid seasonal bill peaks.
- Bill Forecast Alerts are notifications sent by email, text or phone notifying the customer if their monthly bill is expected to exceed a specific amount set by the customer, based on how they are using energy.
- Home Energy Checkup helps customers assess their energy use and gives customized savings tips.
- HomeIntel is a free energy saving program that includes a Smart Audit and a personal energy coach. Customers who have lived in their home for more than a year and have a smart meter installed are eligible to participate.
- Power Saver Rewards is a free program that rewards participants for temporarily reducing energy use on select hot summer days when the demand for electricity is high.
- SmartAC is a voluntary program that offers participants $120 off a new smart thermostat or $75 to enroll in the program in addition to a $25 annual incentive.
Eligible customers are encouraged to take advantage of income-qualified assistance programs including:
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program offers a discount of 20% or more each month on energy bills.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program offers a monthly discount of 18% on electricity bills for households with three or more people.
- Medical Baseline provides a lower monthly rate for customers with special energy needs due to certain medical conditions.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.
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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company
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