Ways to save when spending more time at home


Are you spending more time at home? Are you working and schooling from home? If so, your energy expenses are likely to go up. Increased use of the internet, personal electronics and other equipment all have a direct impact on your energy bill. Below are simple tips and actions to help manage your energy use and bills, plus a few other savings suggestions.


Most of the energy costs associated with being at home more come from three primary areas: electronics, heating and cooling, and lighting. Here are some ways to lower these costs.


Take action to lower your bills

Home office that includes a wall clock, shelf with books and flowerpot, chair, rug, desk and a cat sitting in a windowsill, a smart thermostat set at 72 degrees, ceiling fan, window shade, computer printer, desk lamp, power surge protector, desktop computer and mouse. Text above the smart thermostat reads heating and cooling. Text above the desk lamp reads Lighting. Text above the desktop computer reads Electronics.


Electronics

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  1. Look for power-saving settings on your computer and office equipment. Many models include low-power modes that can reduce the energy used.
  2. Turn off your equipment when away for 20 minutes or longer. Sleep or standby modes still use energy.
  3. Plug your equipment into a smart power strip to easily shut off power to multiple devices when done for the day.
  4. Create efficiencies with a connected home A smart home hub provides energy monitoring and automation features that can help you save throughout the day. There are multiple connected home products to choose from to create your own smart home.
  5. If buying a new device, look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol. It signifies a product has met strict energy-efficiency requirements. The PG&E Marketplace can also help evaluate energy efficient makes and models.
  6. Consider the Home Intel program to analyze your home energy use and provide an energy coach to help you lower energy use.


Heating and cooling

thermostat icon
  1. Use a smart or programmable thermostat to control your home temperature. These devices can be programmed to run on your schedule, ensuring you don't waste money when you're away. PG&E offers smart thermostat rebates up to $120 to help support these efforts.
  2. If programming your thermostat, set it to 68 F degrees in the winter and 78 F degrees in the summer, health permitting.
  3. Use window coverings to allow or prevent the outside temperatures to impact your home's temperature. Closing blinds or drapes on a cold winter day can help to keep the cold from migrating further into the room.
  4. If you spend most of your time in one room, use smaller or localized heating and cooling equipment, like space heaters or ceiling fans, to keep you comfortable. Make sure to follow all safety requirements associated with the equipment.
  5. Consider the Comfortable Home Rebate program which provides rebates for energy efficient equipment.


Lighting

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  1. Rely on natural light if available. Opening blinds or drapes on sunny days can supply light without using other light sources.
  2. Replace any old lightbulbs with LED lighting. LEDs not only use less energy, they also last longer.
  3. Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting whenever possible. Desk lamps or lights directly over a working area supply the light directly where it is needed.
  4. Consider the Home Energy Rewards program which provides a free energy saving kit to help lower your energy costs.


More actions to help lower your costs


Other potential ways to reduce your overall costs when at home more:



Take advantage of our online tools and resources

Sign in to your account to:

  • Review your energy use in near real time
  • Compare electric rate plans
  • See where your energy use is going

Get a complete list of helpful online account services (PDF, 123 KB)


More home-energy savings tips

There are many additional actions you can take to reduce your overall energy use at home:

  • Add sensors to your lights
  • Set your thermostat temperature to save energy
  • Cook efficiently when using your stove

Get more home energy saving tips (PDF, 100 KB)