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How to lower your PG&E bill during summer and stay-at-home orders

PG&E offers tips to reduce electricity bill
Posted at 6:26 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 11:41:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — When it comes to the summer months and the stay-at-home orders across California, your electricity bill is likely higher than you want it to be. 23ABC spoke with officials from PG&E for tips on how to lower that bill.

"When customers ask me, what’s the number one thing they can do to reduce their energy bill, I always remind them more than 40% of your energy usage is coming from that HVAC system so any small change you can make there will make a big difference on your energy bill. I suggest customers try to increase their thermostat up one or 2° every week or so and turn on those fans, close the shades on the window to keep that warm hot air out in the afternoon and you should see a savings on that energy bill," PG&E spokesperson, Katie Allen, told 23ABC.

With many people working from home lately, 23ABC asked if there is an optimal time to complete chores that use electricity, like running the dishwasher or laundry machines.

"Obviously, the air conditioning unit is going to be the big one, but when it comes to running laundry, the dishwasher, things like that... Unless you're on a time-of-use rate plan, which you would know if you are, if you’re in a time-of-use rate plan, yes. You want to divert those activities during times where the price for energy usage is less, so not in the afternoon hours. If you’re not on a time-of-use rate plan, it’s not generally going to cost you more if you do those activities during the afternoon or high usage times."

When it comes to setting that thermostat during the day, especially when you won't be home during the day, there are recommended temperatures to abide by.

"We recommend setting the thermostat when they’re home at 78°, depending on health issues in the home, and when they’re away, we recommend 85°. Obviously, every home, age of the home, insulation of the home... it all depends on your home, your apartment, or wherever you are, but we do generally recommend 78° or higher at home, health permitting, and 85° when you are leaving."

With many people working from home, 23ABC also asked PG&E about the potential for public safety power shutoffs in Kern County. A PSPS event occurs when a service area sees an increased risk for wildfires, so PG&E shuts off power in the area. We were told PG&E does not see any potential for a PSPS event in the next 7 to 14 days, but you can always stay up-to-date on their website, PGE.com.

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