As the mercury rises this summer, customers are looking for ways to keep their electricity bills down. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers simple ways to beat the heat and lower air conditioner costs as we move through the ‘dog days’ of summer throughout the region.
Across the country, home cooling costs account for a large percentage of residential electricity usage, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And many AC units are working around the clock to keep temperatures indoors cool and comfortable across parts of Northern and Central California.
Weather and the climate zones where customers live impact AC usage and monthly energy bills. PG&E encourages customers to consider easy ways to lower AC costs and still stay cool indoors this summer.
Use ceiling fans: Fans keep air circulating, allowing the thermostat to be raised several degrees while staying just as comfortable. However, remember to turn them off when leaving. Fans move air, not cool it, so they waste energy if left on when no one is at home or work.
Shade and clear the area around the AC unit: Keep outside AC equipment shaded to keep the system cooler, while ensuring the air flow isn’t blocked. Also, keep the area around the AC system clear and free of overgrown vegetation or other items that could impact equipment efficiency.
Reduce sunlight: Sunlight streaming in through windows can raise the inside temperature of homes and businesses. Planting shade trees outside windows can curb encroaching sunlight. Blackout shades or curtains are another low-cost option.
Replace filters as needed: Dirty air filters make your air conditioner work harder to circulate the air. Clean and/or replace air filters monthly to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
Avoid cooking indoors: During times of extreme heat, consider using low-heat emitting appliances like microwaves and crock-pots. Cooking with an oven or on a stovetop generates more heat, which strains AC systems. Reduce energy usage by cooking or grilling outside.
“The harder the air conditioner works, the greater the energy cost. We want our customers to know there are simple and inexpensive ways to prevent their monthly energy bill from spiking during hot summer months,” said Vincent Davis, senior director of customer energy solutions at PG&E.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/.