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How to get conserve energy, save money during an extreme heat wave

PG&E says they are preparing for a surge in energy use this weekend and are ready to respond to any outages.
Heat Wave (FILE)
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 14, 2023

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Dealing with one hot day of the week isn’t too bad, but having consecutive days of excessive heat poses many threats to local communities.

PG&E says they are preparing for a surge in energy use this weekend and are ready to respond to any outages.

“In Kern County for example we have crews staged they’re ready to go respond. We also make sure we have an adequate supply of equipment for example, should there be a transformer failure that transformer would need to be replaced,” said PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith.

Smith says power outages are mostly caused when the electric grid is being overused and this is typically between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. when people are getting off work. Smith says there are ways to reduce your energy use during this time period but it takes some planning.

“The coolest temperatures are going to be in the very early hours in the morning so if you’re able to open your windows, let the cool air in early in the morning and kind of open your blinds, open your curtains that kind of thing let that cool air in.”

This type of daily action is also promoted by OhmConnect, a nationwide energy-saving company that pays people for saving energy. Chief Executive Officer of OhmConnect, Cisco DeVries, says taking advantage of these early, cooler hours is key to saving energy.

“Don’t do your laundry until after 9 p.m. early next week because the power is going to be very expensive. The grid is going to be really challenged and you can be lazy, put it off until later.”

DeVries says this action could save people 5-10 dollars a day. OhmConnect sends customers reminders of when to reduce energy use to lower the strain on the grid, looking at your meter and paying you depending on how much you saved.

Aside from changing your laundry schedule, DeVries says turning on your AC prior to peak hours, and not using your oven to cook are some quick tips you can try at home. But he also provides tips for when you do need to use energy.

“If you’re not using certain rooms, close the vents and close the doors. So focus on cooling the parts of the house you’re in and let the other parts of the house with the doors closed and your air conditioning vent closed up.”

Smith says while PG&E wants people to conserve energy during this heat warning, they also want people to stay safe and to only follow tips that are going to benefit their overall health.

“Most important thing in these circumstances, while we do obviously encourage conservation and for folks to take whatever steps they can, the most important thing is safety.”

Both companies say things like closing your blinds and using lamps for lighting or putting ice behind a fan can help you stay cool and save energy during this heat wave.