Save Energy to Help Prevent Power Shortages

Conserving energy and water this summer can help you save money, prevent power shortages, and protect the environment. Read through our low-to-no-cost energy saving tips and sign up to receive Flex Alert notifications to know when to conserve.

As in summers past, all of us conserving together when needed can noticeably drop power demand during times of high energy use.

Residential Tips

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  • Adjust Your Thermostat: During 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% on cooling costs.
  • Close Windows and Doors: Keep windows and doors closed during the heat of the day to prevent the loss of cooled air.
  • Adjust Window Coverings: Tilt blinds up and close drapes and shades on windows that receive direct sunlight.
  • Clean or Replace Your A/C Filter: A dirty filter forces your air conditioner to work harder, wasting money and energy.
  • Keep Cool With Ceiling Fans: Running a ceiling fan while your A/C is on (when you're at home) will allow you to raise your thermostat about 4°F while experiencing the same level of comfort.
    • Most ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb!
  • Be Smart About Lighting: Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with CFLs instead of overhead lights.
  • Power Down Your Computer: Enable "power management" on all computers and make sure to turn them off when not in use.
  • Cool Off Your Home at Night: On cool nights, safety-permitting, open windows to let cooler air in. In the morning before the day starts to heat up, close windows and blinds to keep warm air out.
  • Delay Heat-Producing Activities: To avoid heating up your home on hot days, postpone using heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher, clothes washer and clothes dryer until cooler times of the day.
  • Inspect Your Home for Air Leaks: Caulk or seal around air vents, registers, doors and windows to help keep hot air out of your home during the summer. Pay close attention to the connections where vents and registers meet floors, walls and ceilings as these are common places for leaks.
  • Wash Clothes in Cold Water: When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
  • Run Full Loads and After 6pm: Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. During summer, wait until after 6pm to use these and other major appliances.
  • Program Your Thermostat: Fully utilize a programmable thermostat to help keep your A/C costs low during the day when you're not at home.
  • Use the Bathroom Fan: After showers, remove heat and humidity from your home or apartment with the bathroom vent.
  • Unplug Electronics: Unplug battery chargers, 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.
  • 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% 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. Better yet, let nature be your A/C and take a trip to the park, forest or beach.
  • Get Rewarded for Saving: Learn about incentives and bill credits offered by SCE, PG&E and SDG&E to save energy on days when conservation is needed.

Office Tips

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  • Lighting: Turn off unnecessary office lights, and use natural lighting where possible.
  • Thermostat: Set your zone thermostat to 78º or higher, when 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.
    • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the loss of cooled 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.