Save Energy to Help Prevent Service Interruptions

Conserving energy, natural gas, and water can save money, prevent service interruptions, and help protect the environment. Read through our low-to-no-cost energy saving tips, and sign up to receive Flex Alert notifications to help California conserve energy during times of grid stress.

Your electric utility has more energy-saving tips and rebates to improve your home's energy efficiency by adding more insulation, upgrading your heating and air conditioner, or replacing your pool pump. Contact your utility to learn about the programs offered in your area.

RESIDENTIAL TIPS

family

Adjust Your Thermostat 

  • During summer peak hours or when you're not home, remember to set your thermostat at 78° or higher. Setting your air conditioner 5° higher can save up to 20 percent on cooling costs.
  • During the winter reduce furnace thermostat 3-5º, if health permits.
  • Use smart or programmable features to help maintain energy savings when you’re not home.

Close Windows and Doors

  • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the loss of cooled or heated air.
  • On summer nights, open windows to let cooler air in when safe. In the morning before the day starts to heat up, close windows and blinds to keep warm air out.

Adjust Window Coverings 

  • During the summer, tilt blinds up and close drapes and shades on windows that receive direct sunlight.
  • During the winter, open window coverings to allow the direct sunlight to heat rooms.

Adjust Temperature with Ceiling Fans 

  • During the summer, using your ceiling fan while your air conditioner is on will allow you to raise your thermostat about 4°F and experience the same level of comfort. Remember to shut off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Also, adjust your ceiling fans to run counter clockwise to push cool air down.
  • During the winter ceiling fans should run at a low speed in a clockwise direction to gently draw room air up and force warm air down.

Smart Energy Use 

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with LEDs instead of overhead lights.
  • Enable "power management" on all computers and turn off when not in use.
  • Unplug phone charges, power strips (those without a switch) and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.

Major Appliance Use 

  • In the summer, postpone using heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer until cooler times of the day to avoid heating up your home.
  • Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when full. During summer, wait until after 9 p.m. to use these and other major appliances.
  • When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90 percent of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.

Clean or Replace Your Filters

  • A dirty filter forces your air conditioner and furnace to work harder, wasting money, energy or natural gas.

Inspect Your Home for Air Leaks

  • Caulk or seal around air vents, registers, doors and windows. Pay close attention to the connections where vents and registers meet floors, walls and ceilings, as these are common places for leaks.

Adjust Your Water Heater

  • Turn your water heater down to 120° or the "normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13 percent of home energy costs.

Head Somewhere Cool

  • On hot afternoons, consider leaving home, adjusting your thermostat accordingly, and going someplace cool like the pool or the library.

Conservation Programs

  • Consider participating in your utility's demand response program. These voluntary programs are short, temporary measures to reduce energy consumption when power supplies are critically low and a Flex Alert has been issued. Contact your local electric utility to learn about your utility's program and incentives they may offer to participate.

OFFICE TIPS

Lighting

  • Turn off unnecessary office lights, and use natural lighting where possible.

Thermostat

    • In the summer, set your zone thermostat to 78º or higher, when possible.
    • During the winter, reduce furnace thermostat 3-5º, if possible

Prevent Leaks

    • Check window vents to make sure they are clear of paper and other debris.
    • Adjust the blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight–closed in the summer, open in the winter.
    • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the loss of cooled or heated air.

Equipment

  • Turn off any office equipment that is not currently in use. Alternately, look for sleep or power-saving modes in-between uses during the day.

Computers

  • Enable power management settings on all computers, so that they go to sleep and turn off screens when not in use.

Break room

  • Plug electronics such as coffee-makers and microwaves into power strips and switch them off when the day is done.

End-of-the-Day

  • As you leave the office, get in the habit of checking to make sure computers, printers/copiers, and other office equipment is fully shut down. If possible, switch them off at the power strip to ensure they are no longer draining energy.

Conservation Programs

  • Consider enrolling in your utility's voluntary conservation program. These types of measures–also known as demand response programs–are short, temporary ways for your utility to reduce energy consumption when power supplies are critically low. Contact your electric utility to learn more about your utility's program and incentives they may offer to participate.