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How to save money as energy bills soar during the summer months

As temperatures continue to rise, so do our energy bills.

Many of us are feeling those costs, ontop of the soaring inflation.

Southern California Edison has raised energy rates twice so far this year. It rose nearly 3% in January and the another 7.7% in March. It totals a more than 10% increase in 2022.

“Price of natural gas has gone up and it's affecting utilities up and down California. Not just the electric utilities, but also a gas utilities as well," said SCE spokesperson Ron Gales, "SCE has been investing really a couple billion dollars in hardening our system in reducing the risk of wildfires, but it's not just us. It's utilities like San Diego Gas and Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric it's really California wide.”

The Imperial Irrigation District and SCE are urging customers to conserve during peak hours from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“California gets a lot of energy during the daytime hours from those huge solar farms. In fact, we get so much energy that the price of electricity, the price of electric service before 4 p.m. Because of that abundance of cheaper energy, it just drops a great deal," Gales explained. 

But, that’s not an easy task for some families. Palm Desert resident, Jessica Montes, works from home. “I use a laptop, I do use an iPad, I use adaptors, I do have dual screens.”

Although she saves money on gas without a commute, Montes said her air conditioning is constantly running since she stays home. “Especially having a two-story condo, you know it does get hotter upstairs hence why I have my office set up downstairs.”

She said conserving energy during the peak hours is difficult to do. “It could be difficult for families who don’t get off of work until 5pm and then they have to cook for their family of 3 or 4, as for myself," Montes explained, "We have an air-fryer, we use a stove you know so those are all plug-ins. And that’s what I need to use to you know, provide for my family.”

Some ways to lower costs on your next energy bill, “If you're using those fans, and you usually have your thermostat at 78 degrees, you can turn your thermostat up to 80 degrees and with those fans, it'll still feel like 78 degrees so electric fans have a There's generally a cooling effect of about 2 degrees," Gales explained.

You should also check to see if you qualify for other money-saving programs.

“What we have available for them are payment arrangements where they can take their past due bill amount, and they can arrange it into installment payments, and they can break that up over time,” Gales added.

For money saving tips with IID, click here.

To save with SCE, click here.

  • Cook with your grill or microwave to keep your home cooler
  • Give your air conditioner a rest when you can and cool your home with open windows and fans
  • Replace your incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LEDs
  • Close your blinds to keep out the afternoon heat
  • Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use
  • Give your dryer a break and hang-dry your clothes
  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and to 85 degrees or “off” when you are away

SCE said a third of their customers are eligible for their “CARE” program, so be sure to check if you qualify. They say you can save up to 30-percent on that energy bill.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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