Due to COVID, many of us are spending more time at home. In regard to our utility bills, energy we would normally use at work or school, is now being consumed in our homes. While home, we may spend more time with the AC and lights on. We are also cooking and running the dishwasher more often because restaurants have been closed. To entertain ourselves, we may be spending more time on the computer, watching movies, or socializing virtually.
As we spend more time at home, the opportunity arises to take greater control of personal energy consumption, allowing us to reduce energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The Encinitas Climate Dashboard provides multiple home energy resources such rebates on efficient appliances and free home energy surveys to help you reduce your energy use.
To begin minimizing your energy consumption, here are some helpful tips:
- Raise the temperature on the AC: Raising the temperature just two degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as five percent. This is the single most important step in saving energy.
- Dry laundry outside
- Wash laundry with cold water
- Upgrade your lighting to ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs, which use 70-90% less energy than standard bulbs.
- Avoid peak times: run dishwasher/washing machine outside of 4pm-9pm window. Learn more about switching “time of use”
- Power down: Turning off one computer and monitor nightly and on weekends can save up to $80 a year (from SDG&E)
Even more energy saving tips can be found on SDG&E’s website. Finally, if you need support in paying your energy bill during this unprecedented time, take a look at SDG&E’s Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program.