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Tips, incentives, and rebate programs to help you save on your energy bill this Summer

Summer is fast approaching, which typically means higher energy costs, and higher bills especially here in the desert. That's why local energy companies are offering incentives to help lower your bills.

Jeff Monford, a spokesperson with Southern California Edison, explains that there's a reason behind those higher bills.

"Electricity costs more between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m,” said Monford. “SCE buys electricity from a marketplace, and passes it on to customers with no markup. There's actually no profit on power delivered. However, power costs the most for SCE to buy and deliver between four and nine, hence the higher bill."

SCE says it has several rebate programs and initiatives this season for residents to slash those bills.

"We have a rebate program that gives pricing advantages for more efficient appliances," said Monford. "Appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters, and the like. And those are available in some cases for both owners and renters depending upon the situation."

You can find a list of the rebates and incentives on the SCE website, that also shows you your eligibility for certain programs that may have restrictions.

"The residential energy savings program is another way to help income qualified people get free, more energy efficient appliances," says Monfrod. "If your income qualified, there's plenty of programs for you. But even if you're not, there may be some programs that you do qualify for that can lead to some really great ways to save energy and save money.

One of those programs includes the Residential 'Direct Install Program', which delivers new smart -thermostats to some residences and businesses around the valley. Some families will also be eligible for a new fan motor for their HVAC systems, and a free ductwork check.

“That's the cool one. You can get a smart thermostat for free, and those are usually like $100," said Monford. "It's connected to an app and it just works brilliantly”.

Monford says last Summer, he visited the home of a man who was part of the "Direct Install Program".

"There was a big gap between the air handler and the ductwork like a two inch gap that we were able to close. Now, he is even cooling the crawlspace with his AC, and we've forced all that back into his house. So he liked that. But he also really liked the free thermostat."

Monford says there are also several things you can do at home to mitigate costs.

"At my house, I do everything involving power before four o'clock, or late at night," said Monford. "But mostly around here, before four o'clock. So dishwasher, laundry machines, etc. Do all that earlier in the day. Ceiling fans also really help. Make sure that in the summer, they're set so that they blow downward. You can also pre-cool your home. Put it at a lower temperature at 2:00 p.m. and have a cooler house by the time you raise that thermostat again at four o'clock. Between that, and the ceiling fans, you can really make a difference in the amount of electricity you use and what you're paying for."

Monford also recommends closing your blinds to keep the house cooler when the sun is at its peak, and also when it is setting.

Overall, those changes and programs could save you between $50 and $100 on your bills and appliances.

Other companies around the valley, like IID, have incentives for EVs, appliances, weatherization upgrades, and more.

SoCal Gas will help offset the cost of energy-efficient appliances, including tankless water heaters in your home.

And you can also find out more about the City of Palm Desert's Environmental Programs here.

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Tori King


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