BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The inflation rate for the United States is at 8.6 percent, the highest level it's been since 1981. Now Americans are paying even more for everything including energy.
Monday started the second heat wave of the season and if you can’t escape to a cooling center you are probably blasting your A/C. But that will end up costing you more at the end of the month. That’s why energy officials have some tips and programs to help bring down your energy bill.
“When it comes to conserving energy, especially during the summer here in the Central Valley, we want to remind customers that 40 percent of energy usage is coming from that air conditioning unit, so anything that you can do to enhance efficiency is going to reduce those summer energy bills,” says PG&E spokesperson Katie Allen.
In the summer months, your energy bill can go from $5.65 to $109.47 as temperatures start to rise.
PG&E says there are a few things you can do to help conserve energy. The first is to set your thermostat to 78 when you’re home and when you leave set it to 85. The next is to regularly replace air filters on a monthly basis to ensure A/C unit efficiency. And finally, if possible, provide shading for the A/C unit itself so it doesn't need to work as hard.
When it comes to SoCal Gas the company has expanded eligibility for its Energy Savings Assistance Program which helps with home energy efficiency improvements.
Does Your Household Qualify?
To be eligible for the program, you must meet the qualifications:
- Be a homeowner or renter who receives electric services through a residential meter
- Have an active SCE service account
- Meet the program eligibility requirements, including the installation requirements
- Meet either of the qualifications listed below
“What it is doing is essentially during the hot summer months it's keeping the keeping the hot air out, and during the cold winter months it's keeping the warm air in and that is reducing your energy usage which reduces your energy bills,” explained Brian Prusnek, the director of customer programs at SoCal Gas.
And SoCal Gas says while inflation and the cost of living continue to be at an all-time high it estimates residents can save up to 20 percent on their bill.
“In Kern County we have about 2,000 customers utilizing the Energy Savings Assistance Program last year and with the new income guidelines, we estimate about 45,000 households will be eligible in Kern County to receive these energy efficiency improvements at their home, at no cost to the customer,” continued Prusnek.
SoCal Edison Powerful Tips & Tricks
If you’re looking for even more ways to help save energy, give yourself a big pat on the back. Then browse these simple yet powerful SCE tips & tricks. They can help you save money and can further help us achieve our goal of creating a clean energy California.
- Shut off your oven for the final 7 minutes of cooking; the trapped heat will finish the job.
- Wash laundry in cold water. It saves energy and is gentler on clothes.
- Turn down the brightness on your TV. Most viewing occurs at night anyway, so turning down your TV’s brightness will greatly reduce its energy output.
- Unplug unused electronics. Standby power can account for 10% of your annual electricity use.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LEDs.
- Cook with your microwave to keep your home cooler and reduce energy costs.
But if you experience a power outage during the heat there are cooling centers available.