Stay Cool, California: Learn how PG&E can help you control your summer energy costs

Manage Energy Expenses When Temperatures Rise

Summer's higher temperatures often trigger increased energy use, which can result in higher than average bills. But you don't have to let the heat beat you.

Keep Costs Down with These Simple Tips

  • When possible, delay chores that produce heat such as dishwashing, laundering and cooking until cooler times of the day or night.
  • Set your air conditioning thermostat to 75-78ºF (health permitting) when you're at home and to 85ºF when you’re away.
  • Use a ceiling fan while you're home and running the air conditioner. This will allow you to raise your thermostat setting about four degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Allow cooler air from the morning or night before to flow into your home. As the temperature rises, close the windows and draw the shades to keep pre-cooled air inside.
  • Check the filter on your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. A dirty filter can cause your system to work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
  • If possible, enjoy an afternoon out—at the pool, movies, park or local library.

Check Out Other PG&E Savings Tips and Services

Learn how to reduce your energy usage and lower your costs—this summer and all-year round.

  • If possible, move the air conditioning unit to a north-facing or shaded window, as direct sunlight reduces your unit's efficiency. If it's in the sun, provide shading for it.
  • Use exterior shading devices or plants to shade your home and windows from the sun.
  • Fill up the fridge. Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. Then it doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.
  • Turn off lights when not needed.
  • Make sure that connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet floors, walls and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
  • Use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home after showering or bathing. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside and not just to the attic.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched off.
  • Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
  • Give your refrigerator breathing room. Also, clean the coils and don't set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38-42 ºF, and the freezer between 0-5 ºF.
  • Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting.
  • Consider replacing pool pumps and motors with energy-efficient equipment. If your pool has a filter and automatic cleaning sweep, shorten the operating time.
  • Save energy and money by using pool covers.
  • Remember to have your HVAC system serviced annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency.
  • Seal your air ducts using mastic sealant or metal and insulate all the ducts you can access. In typical houses, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts.
  • Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in.
  • Buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready to be replaced.
  • ENERGY STAR windows can make your house more comfortable year-round and save you money as well.
  • Consider installing a whole-house fan. A whole-house fan placed in your attic draws cooler air into the home and forces hot air out through attic vents. Use it when the air is cool outside, such as in the early morning.
  • Install a door sweep on your garage door to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold. This prevents warm air from coming in and cool air from escaping.
  • California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
    The CARE Program offers a significant monthly discount on energy bills for qualifying households. The application includes just a few simple questions. No proof of income is required for enrollment.
  • Energy Savings Assistance Program
    The Energy Savings Assistance Program offers income-qualified renters and homeowners no-cost solutions to help make their homes more energy efficient, safe and comfortable. Improvements include weatherproofing, minor home repairs and select appliance replacement. Homes must be at least five years old.
  • SmartRate™
    This rate option provides discounts for conserving energy when demand is highest—typically very hot weekdays between late spring and early fall. The less energy you use during these times, the lower your bill will be.
  • Energy Upgrade California™
    Get up to $4,500 in rebates! Instead of making a few home improvements here and there to make your home more energy efficient, sign up for Energy Upgrade California, a statewide program that looks at your home as a complete system.

Set Up a Plan to Manage Summertime Spikes

PG&E’s Balanced Payment Plan can help you balance out higher summer energy costs by providing you with a predictable monthly bill.
Learn More »
 

Additional Resources

  • Drought

    Concerned About the Drought?
    Save Our Water is a statewide program that offers you ideas and inspiration for reducing your water usage.
    Learn More »
  • My Energy

    My Energy
    Analyze Your household’s energy usage, compare rate options and get even more savings tips. It’s easy and free!
    Sign Up or Log In »
  • Summer Tips on YouTube

    Summer Energy
    Savings Tips

    Find simple things you can do to cut down on your energy costs.
    Watch the Video »
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