Tips for Conserving Energy and Saving Money

Tips for Conserving Energy and Saving Money

With California seeing record high temperatures and more residents staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, our energy grid is experiencing unprecedented demand. This increased utility use is putting a strain on consumers’ wallets, as well. Now more than ever, it’s important to look into energy savings and assistance programs for your household. Below are some resources to help conserve energy and save money.

Start by Contacting Your Utility:

Contact your energy and water utilities, as well as telecommunications providers, if you need help with your service, are having financial difficulties, have medical necessity for service, and/or are interested in clean energy offerings.

  • Please note that utilities are currently suspending disconnection of service due to nonpayment. Contact your utility for options if you are having difficulty paying your bill.
     
  • SDG&E and Imperial Irrigation District both offer discounts on utility bills for income-eligible households. They may also offer energy efficiency upgrades, including new appliances, to reduce your energy bill and improve your quality of life.
     
  • If you or someone in your family has a medical necessity for gas or electricity, please contact your utility and enroll in a program to provide you with a higher allowance of energy at the lower tiered rate. Your utility will also know to contact you in advance of a power outage for maintenance or to prevent a wildfire.

State of California Programs:

  • LIHEAP - This federally-funded program assists low-income households that pay a large portion of their income on energy needs. For more info: https://www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/LIHEAPProgram.aspx
     
  • FERA - Households with income slightly above the cutoff for low-income energy program allowances may be eligible for FERA discounts, which bills some of their electricity usage at a lower rate. For more info: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/fera/
     
  • CARE - Low-income households enrolled in the CARE program can receive up to a 35-percent discount on their electric bill and a 20-percent discount on their natural gas bill. For more info: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lowincomerates/
     
  • California LifeLine - This program is administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and provides discounts for home phone or wireless phone service to households with limited income. This discount can be as much as $23 per month, and each household must choose to apply the discount to one home phone plan or one wireless plan. For more information about the program and participation, visit https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lifeline/ or call the California LifeLine Call Center at 1-866-272-0349.

Rebates and tax credits:

  • SDG&E customers may qualify for financial assistance to help you install solar, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers, or electric appliances: https://www.sdge.com/rebates
     
  • To learn more about battery storage rebates and assistance, contact: Center for Sustainable Energy (858) 244-1177 https://sites.energycenter.org/sgip

Best Practices for Conservation:

Additional Resources:

The recent increase in wildfire activity in our state is a stark warning to Californians to take steps to prevent sparking a wildfire. It's also a critical reminder for residents to prepare an evacuation plan and kit so that you're ready to go at a moment’s notice. Learn more at www.ReadyForWildfire.org & @CAL_FIRE.