Working, learning at home contributed to 10% increase in usage last year

From Pacific Gas and Electric

The ongoing pandemic has us all spending more time at home, and according to our customer data, the ongoing pandemic could be adding as much as 10 percent to residential home energy usage. To help customers reduce energy usage during the pandemic, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has launched a new webpage focusing on energy-saving tips and recommendations for the three primary areas that drive higher energy use: electronics, heating and cooling, and lighting.

Electronic devices, keeping our homes warm or cool and keeping lights on all have a direct impact on energy usage when spending more time at home, especially with both work from home and distance learning more prevalent.

“We hope this new resource will help customers learn all about the small changes that can add up and reduce overall energy use at home,” said Aaron August, PG&E Vice President of Business Development & Customer Engagement.

PG&E offers the following tips on the new webpage,

Save Energy When at Home

  • Electronics: Turn off equipment when away for 20 minutes or longer. Sleep or standby modes still use energy. Plug equipment into a smart power strip to easily shut off power to multiple devices when done for the day.
  • Heating and Cooling: Use a smart or programmable thermostat to control your home temperature. These devices can be programmed to run on your schedule, ensuring you don’t waste money when you’re away. PG&E offers smart thermostat rebates up to $120 to help these efforts. If programming your thermostat, set it to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer, health permitting.
  • Lighting: Rely on natural light if available. Opening blinds or drapes on sunny days can supply light without using other light sources. Replace old lightbulbs with LED lighting. LEDs not only use less energy, but they also last longer.

Additional Ways to Reduce Energy Usage When at Home: