Energy saving tips for winter temperatures
SAN FRANCISCO — Winter in California means heading to the Sierra to enjoy the snow or curling up on the couch binge-watching your favorite shows. It also means that longer nights and colder days likely leads to using more natural gas to heat your home or apartment.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) suggests ways for customers to save energy, money, and stay safe during the cold winter months.
“We want to make sure our customers have the tools to reduce usage and equip them with easy ways to manage cold-weather energy costs and stay safe this winter as temperatures continue to dip,” said Vincent Davis, PG&E’s Senior Director of Customer Energy Solutions.
PG&E offers the following tips to safely reduce the cost of keeping warm.
Ways to Save Energy This Winter
- Lower your thermostat when away: You can save about 2 percent of your heating bill for each degree that you lower the thermostat (if the turndown lasts a good part of the day or night). Turning down the thermostat from 70°F to 65°F, for example, saves about 10 percent.
- Control water temperature: Set your water heater thermostat at 120°F or lower. This way you’ll reduce the amount of energy it takes to produce and maintain your hot water by not overheating it.
- Test air ducts for leaks: In a typical house, 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts.
- Install proper caulking and weather-stripping: Sealing air leaks around your home and adding insulation can help your home be more comfortable and energy efficient and provide up to a 10 percent savings on your annual energy bills.
- Discount programs: Qualifying customers can apply for a monthly discount through the California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) or the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA).
For more tips on saving energy this winter, visit www.pge.com/winter.
Fuel-burning appliances, such as gas furnaces, stoves, ovens and water heaters can increase the risk of carbon monoxide leaks, a toxic gas, when they are not working properly. Electric heating devices, such as space heaters, can also be a safety hazard when used improperly. Inappropriate use has been known to cause fires.
Ways to Stay Safe this Winter
- Carbon Monoxide
- Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, barbecues, propane heaters and charcoal.
- Space Heaters
- Place space heaters on level, hard, nonflammable surfaces, not on rugs or carpets.
- Don’t put objects on space heaters or use them to dry clothes or shoes.
- Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Keep all flammable materials at least three feet away from heating sources and
supervise children when a space heater or fireplace is being used.
If customers suspect there is a problem with a natural gas appliance inside their home, they should call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. If you detect carbon monoxide in your home, you should get out immediately and call 911.