Save when you're at home
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
- Check your settings
Look for power-saving settings on your computer and office equipment. Many models include low-power modes that can reduce the energy used.
- Shut it down
Turn off your equipment when away for 20 minutes or longer. Sleep or standby modes still use energy.
- Plug in
Plug your equipment into a smart power strip to easily shut off power to multiple devices when done for the day.
- Get connected
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.
- Buy efficient
If buying a new device, look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol. It signifies a product has met strict energy-efficiency requirements. The PG&E Energy Action Guide can also help evaluate energy efficient makes and models.
- Get additional help
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
- Program your thermostat
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.
- Set the right temperature
If programming your thermostat, set it to 68 F degrees in the winter and 78 F degrees in the summer, health permitting.
- Use your windows
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.
- Space heaters and fans
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.
- Get additional help
Consider the Comfortable Home Rebate program which provides rebates for energy efficient equipment.
- Use natural light
Rely on natural light if available. Opening blinds or drapes on sunny days can supply light without using other light sources.
Replace any old lightbulbs with LED lighting. LEDs not only use less energy, they also last longer.
- Spotlight your workspace
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.
More actions to help lower your costs
Other potential ways to reduce your overall costs when at home more:
- You may save by switching your electric rate plan. Compare plans and choose the one that works best for you.
- See if you are eligible for a PG&E Financial Assistance Program to help save you money on your bills.
- If you made energy improvement renovations to your home, check to see if they are eligible for the equipment tax credits for primary residences.
- If you are a small business owner or self-employed, find out if you're eligible for the home office tax deduction in 2020.
- See if you are eligible for a car insurance discount if you are no longer commuting.
- Check your cell phone and cable plans to ensure that you are still on the best plan for you.
Take advantage of our online tools and resources
- 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)
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Provides a list of personalized energy-saving recommendations based on answers about your home and lifestyle.
Allows you to review, compare and monitor your home energy use by day, week or month.
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