MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — Summer’s warm weather is coming, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) customers can benefit by participating in a variety of programs to prepare for the inevitable increase in air conditioning usage associated with hotter weather that typically drives up summer energy costs.
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program saves 20% or more each month on energy bills.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program offers a monthly discount on electric bills with three or more people in the household.
Customers who are not eligible for income-qualifying programs can sign up for the following programs to help manage energy costs:
- Medical Baseline provides a lower monthly rate for customers with special energy needs due to certain medical conditions.
- Budget Billing averages out energy costs for more predictable monthly payments and eliminates big spikes in bills due to seasonal changes.
- Bill Forecast Alerts are notifications sent by email, text or phone notifying the customer if their monthly bill is expected to exceed a specific amount set by the customer.
Another way to get a head start on managing summer bills is to run a personalized rate comparison to determine the best rate plan for the household.
Lastly, the air conditioner accounts for more than 40% of summer energy use. The following three simple steps will ensure the system works more efficiently ahead of extreme temperatures:
- Schedule an annual safety and maintenance check by a licensed technician. A poorly maintained AC can unit consumes 10-30% more energy.
- Clear away weeds and debris to ensure air circulates freely around the unit.
- Shade the equipment to keep the system cooler, while ensuring the air flow isn’t blocked.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/about/newsroom.