On Energy Efficiency Day, SoCalGas Shares Ways to Save Money and Energy
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In recognition of the third annual Energy Efficiency Day, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) issued a reminder about smart thermostat and appliance rebates that give customers cash back while helping keep natural gas bills low. SoCalGas is among a growing network of advocates, companies, government agencies, utilities and others that will showcase the benefits of energy efficiency during the nationwide Energy Efficiency Day. SoCalGas also offered its customers tips about how to save energy and money during the upcoming home heating season.
"Taking simple steps to improve energy efficiency helps reduce heating costs and helps curb emissions linked to climate change," said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance for SoCalGas. "You can be better prepared for the winter months by taking advantage of rebates on energy-saving appliances and ensuring the safe operation of home furnaces."
More than twenty cities, counties, states and universities across the country have already issued proclamations recognizing October 5, 2018 as Energy Efficiency Day, including the City of West Hollywood.
"The City of West Hollywood has issued a proclamation to recognize October 5, 2018 as 'Energy Efficiency Day,'" said West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran, "In West Hollywood, we're taking steps to implement clean power options and reduce energy use in our city facilities. It's essential that we reduce power plant emissions that can harm our health, pollute our air, and warm our climate. On Energy Efficiency Day, we're reminding community members that we can all take steps right now to reduce our energy use with simple actions such as selecting energy efficient appliances, using LED bulbs and turning off lights when not in use, and adjusting thermostats to more efficient settings. Together, we can make greener choices."
SoCalGas offers rebates on hundreds of home products that help save energy. Applying for these rebates can be done online in a matter of minutes. Among the most popular are smart thermostats. These devices can learn your schedule and temperature preferences and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. They also allow users to adjust home temperatures with a mobile app or computer and can even use local weather conditions to help control energy costs. Last winter, customers who participated in a smart thermostat energy efficiency pilot program saved enough natural gas to dry two million loads of laundry.
SoCalGas also offers a website SoCalGas Marketplace, where customers can find and compare energy efficient products. Customers can save $75 on select smart thermostats and Energy Star natural gas dryers, $200 on select water heaters and up to $75 on select washing machines. Customers can also save money on low-flow showerheads, including those with thermostatic shut-off valves that temporarily cut water flow once the water has become hot.
Over its lifetime, an energy efficient appliance will save customers thousands of dollars in energy bills—approximately $1,500 with a tankless water heater, $550 with a natural gas furnace, $200 with a storage water heater and $125 with a smart thermostat.
Temperatures in Southern California typically turn cooler in November and can remain cold through March. Lower temperatures are usually accompanied by an increase in home heating bills, but there are ways to save money.
Customers can take these steps to reduce their natural gas use during cold weather to help keep energy costs affordable:
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and 55 degrees when you are not home. Lowering your thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
- Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; this can save roughly 10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost between 10 to 30 percent in heating and cooling costs.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
- Take shorter showers to reduce your natural gas use.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Hot water leaks cause increased demand on the water heater, which increases natural gas use. One drop of water per second can waste 500 gallons of hot water per year.
- Limit use of non-essential natural gas appliances, such as spas and fireplaces.
More energy saving tips are located here.
In Southern California, natural gas is the most affordable and reliable option for water heating, cooking and space heating. More than 90 percent of residents use natural gas to heat their home and hot water. In addition, more than half of the electricity generated in California is produced using clean burning natural gas. Generating electricity locally using natural gas helps California avoid importing electricity generated with less desirable fuels like coal.
SoCalGas is a leader in researching and developing new technologies that improve energy efficiency and protect the environment. In the past five years, SoCalGas energy efficiency programs have delivered more than 146 million therms in energy savings, enough to power 326,000 households a year, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) by more than 775,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing nearly 165,000 cars from the road. These advances have also helped save SoCalGas customers more than $161 million in utility bill costs.
Customers are also encouraged to sign up for free bill tracking alerts and other online tools to help keep heating affordable this winter. "Bill Tracker Alerts" are an easy way to track natural gas use each week — instead of waiting until the monthly bill arrives — and can help customers use less natural gas and lower their bills. Customers can enroll for Bill Tracker Alerts in My Account. Once enrolled, they can easily access their gas usage information, pay bills, schedule service orders and sign up for Bill Tracker Alerts by visiting "Manage My Account: Manage Alerts."
For customers in need of assistance in paying their natural gas bills or in making their homes more energy efficient, SoCalGas offers a range of programs and services. To sign up for these programs and services, or for more information on how to reduce winter gas bills, visit SoCalGas' website at socalgas.com or call (800) 427-2200.
Energy Efficiency Day is a collaboration between regional and national organizations aimed at helping individuals and organizations save energy and save money. Customers can find out how to participate by visiting energyefficiencyday.org.