With the drop in temperatures, we here at PG&E know that many of our customers will be turning their heaters back on.
We also know that increases in gas commodity prices have caused increases in energy costs this year. PG&E customers pay what we pay for natural gas, but the commodity prices have increased 90% this year compared to last year, and several factors may drive prices higher.
We wanted to remind you of simple ways customers can reduce energy costs while still keeping warm.
- Enhance Furnace Efficiency: Check furnace filters regularly. Change out filters if dirty- or at least every three months. A clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
- Improve Duct Performance: In a typical house about 20% to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Make sure all connections at vent registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceilings. These are the common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork. Many homeowners choose to work with a professional contractor for duct improvement projects.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater: The recommended temperature is 120°F. For every 10ºF reduction in temperature, customers can save from 3% to 5% on water heating costs. Also take shorter showers and don’t leave water running.
- Wash Clothes in Cold Water: Use the cold water setting on the clothes washer to use less energy on water heating, wash full loads, and longer spin times to reduce the amount of drying energy needed. Water heating makes up about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer.
- Don’t Over Dry Clothes: If the dryer has a sensor that automatically turns it off when the clothes are dry, use it. Dry full loads and clean the lint trap before every load
We’re here to help our customers manage their energy use and costs, and have the following assistance programs available to our customers:
- Automatically enrolling all residential and small business customers with past due balances over 60 days in new extended payment arrangements.
- Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) offers one-time financial assistance to qualified customers with past due bills.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers up to $1,000 to pay eligible household energy costs.
- Arrearage Management Program (AMP) offers up to $8,000 in unpaid balance forgiveness, if a customer is enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program, owes a specific bill amount and is more than 90 days past due.
PG&E customers have multiple rate plan options and can view a personalized rate plan comparison along with a variety of other useful tools, and programs to help take control of their energy usage at pge.com.