Home Energy Reports FAQ
Learn how Home Energy Reports can help you save energy and costs
Home Energy Reports offer customized tips and ideas to help you maximize your energy savings. The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) provides additional information about the program.
Learn the basics of the Home Energy Reports program
What is the Home Energy Report program?
The free Home Energy Reports offer the following important information:
- Provide a snapshot of your home’s energy use over time and in different seasons.
- Compare your home’s energy use with similar homes in your area.
- Offer customized tips and updates to help you save energy and costs.
Who can participate in the Home Energy Reports program?
We are enrolling customers in the program in phases. Enrollment is finished for the current phase, but you may be chosen for future phases.
Can Home Energy Reports be generated for multiple properties?
Customers are enrolled in phases. At this time, we cannot estimate when other properties or homes in other areas will be enrolled. You will be notified when reports will be available.
Why was I chosen to be in the Home Energy Reports program?
We send these reports as a learning tool and to help you save on your energy use and costs.
The energy you save helps the environment, reduces the need for new power plants, and helps avoid power outages.
How often will I receive my reports?
You'll receive a monthly report for the first three months you participate in the Home Energy Reports program. This will help you become familiar with the reports. After three months, your reports will come less often, either bi-monthly or quarterly.
Interested in learning more about your energy use? Please log in to Your Account to view your information and find out more about the latest tools that can help you save energy and money.
How much do Home Energy Reports cost and why does PG&E send them?
We provide the reports to you at no cost. They are learning tools that help you save energy costs. Our Home Energy Report provider: OPOWER shows that you typically save more on your energy statements than the reports cost to produce and deliver. The energy you save helps the environment, reduces the need for new power plants and the occurrence of power outages.
How often are Home Energy Reports sent?
You receive a monthly report for the first three months. This helps you become familiar with the reports. After three months, your reports will arrive less often, either bi-monthly or quarterly.
What do the graphs in Home Energy Reports mean?
The following descriptions explain the graphs in a typical Home Energy Report. Your report will vary depending on whether you are a gas customer, an electric customer or both. View a sample Download: Home Energy Report Your Home Energy Report (PDF, 127 KB).
- The Last Month Household Comparison graph shows energy use in energy efficient similar homes, your home’s energy use and average energy use in similar homes. You can compare your energy use with similar homes in your area for the current period.
- The Average Day Last Month graph uses information from your SmartMeter™ to show your average electricity use at various times of day for the last 30 days.
- The Last 12 Months Household Comparison is similar to the Last Month Household Comparison. This graph charts your energy use to compare it with similar homes.
- The Personal Comparison graph compares your energy use over a specific period to the same period last year.
- The Personalized Tips section offers customized ideas to help make your home more energy efficient.
How are Personalized Tips created and updated?
Personalized Tips are based on your personal data, such as whether you live in a single or a multi-family residence, time of year, previous PG&E program participation and energy use. We send seasonal tips throughout the year to help you save. Login to Your Account to update your account information to receive the most current tips for your home.
Explore more: Money and Energy Saving Tips.
How are savings estimates calculated?
Savings estimates are based on the average energy use in a typical home in your area, current energy costs and any California-specific savings data. Get even more ways to save. Login to Your Account to update your information.
Can Home Energy Reports be viewed online?
Is there an opt-out option for the program?
Understanding similar homes comparisons in the Home Energy Report
Who are the customers used in the comparison and how are they chosen?
To produce a comparison, we use data from homes in your area that are similar to yours in type, size and possible energy usage. Private information, for example, the number of people living in the home or types of appliances being used, is not used. Your comparison includes around 100 nearby occupied homes.
Comparisons are confidential. Other customers never know what homes are used or see your energy usage data.
How are nearby similar homes determined?
Nearby homes may not include your close neighbors. They're close to you and are similar in type and size to your home, which means they likely have similar energy needs. If your home is much different from others nearby, we look at a larger area, usually within your ZIP Code. Our goal is to provide the closest comparison available.
How does PG&E keep information confidential?
Your information and personal data is always kept private. Other customers never know what homes are used or see your energy usage data. Our privacy standards follow all regulations, including California Public Utilities Commission regulations.
What does the average square footage of the home mean?
Average square footage means that the comparison averages measurements of similar homes. The square footage may be close to yours, but it will probably not be an exact match. We try to compare homes that are very close in size.
If you your home is much larger or smaller than the square footage on your Home Energy Report, log in and update your information with the correct square footage by completing a brief Home Energy Checkup or call us at 1-866-767-6457. A closer comparison will be generated for your next Home Energy Report.
Are vacant homes used in the similar homes comparison?
When we choose homes for your comparison, we use only homes that appear occupied. We do not include homes with very low energy usage or that we think are vacant.
Are homes with solar panels used in the similar homes comparison?
Some of our customers use solar panels for their homes, which affects how much energy they use. So we compare your home with 100 similar homes in your area, to average typical energy use. The Home Energy Report indicates typical energy usage, so your comparison won't be affected by a few homes with solar panels.
Can participants choose to opt out of the similar homes comparison?
No, you cannot opt out from the similar home comparison unless you opt out from the program. Many customers believe that the comparisons help them make better decisions about their energy use. If you choose to opt out, call 1-866-767-6457.
NOTE: If you opt out of the program, you won’t be able to join again.
Learn more about your energy use
Which home systems typically use the most energy?
Every home's energy use depends on a variety of factors. Typically, air conditioning and heating use the highest amount of energy in a home. Water heaters, refrigerators and freezers, pools and spas also use a significant amount of energy.
Why does energy use change when compared to the same period last year or last month?
There are many factors that affect energy use and costs. Find out about your energy use in the 12-month Household Comparison chart, which outlines how much energy your home uses in different seasons. You can also compare your home's energy use with the energy used in similar homes.
Why do similar homes in the comparison use less energy?
Energy efficient similar homes may use less energy compared to similar homes in the area. Some of these homes likely reduce their energy use by:
- Using the thermostat to manage heating and cooling costs.
- Turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Running full loads in washing machines and dishwashers.
Other ways to make your home more energy efficient and save money are described in your Home Energy Reports.
What are quick ways to use less energy when a comparison is higher that similar homes?
To save energy, consider your use of the following systems and appliances:
- Air conditioning.
- Second refrigerator.
- Clothes dryer.
- Computer and other electronics.
- Stove or oven.
Next, use the Personalized Tips in your Home Energy Report. These tips include customized energy-saving quick fixes, smart purchase ideas and long-term investment planning ideas.
If you have items in your home that use a lot of energy, Home Energy Reports and the Home Energy Checkup can help you understand how they affect your energy use and costs.
Do reports consider customers who work from home?
The averages used in the report are a good general indicator of typical energy usage. There are other factors that may affect your energy use that are different from similar homes. These factors include the number of people living in the home, and using hot tubs, swimming pools, and other devices that consume a lot of energy.
If you work from home, here are some steps you can take to reduce your energy use:
- Select energy-efficient, home office equipment.
- Use an ENERGY STAR® laptop computer instead of a desktop.
- Install power strips.
- Turn off electronics when not in use.
Can customers who use special medical equipment because of a serious medical condition benefit from Home Energy Reports?
Some customers need special equipment or living conditions that can increase energy use compared to similar homes. These customers may benefit by applying for the PG&E Medical Baseline program. This program provides additional energy at the lowest baseline price for qualified customers who use life-support equipment or whose medical conditions require special heating or cooling. Home Energy Report comparisons can help you identify other ways to reduce your energy use and costs.
How can energy savings progress be measured?
The Home Energy Report's usage comparison graphs can help you keep track of your energy use. The comparisons that use previous month and previous year information can help you understand the positive impact of the Personalized Tips you've implemented to reduce your energy use and costs. Take the Free Home Energy Checkup to view how your energy use changes over time.
Understand your energy use
Get money back with a PG&E rebate when you purchase and install a qualifying product.
What is a kilowatt hour?
A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a measure of electrical energy. Electricity is commonly billed by the kilowatt hour. One kilowatt hour means 1000 watts of energy for one hour. For example, a 100-watt bulb operated for 1000 hours would consume 100 kilowatt hours (100 watts x 1000 hours = 100 kWh).
What is a lumen?
A lumen is a measure of total light output.
What is a Btu?
A British thermal unit (Btu) is a common unit of energy measurement. Its definition is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree.