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Residential FAQ

What temperature should I keep my home for optimal energy efficiency?

In the winter, turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. You'll save 5 percent on heating bills for every 1 degree you lower your thermostat.

In the summer, set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

How much energy does a compact fluorescent light bulb save?

Compact fluorescent lights can save you approximately 75 percent of the energy of a comparable incandescent light bulb.

What are the different types of power outages and how can I prepare for an outage?

Many power outages occur as a result of excessive energy use. Learn more about the types of power outages and their stages as identified by the California Independent System Operator (ISO).

During a power outage how do I protect my appliances?

During an outage, turn off all major appliances such as washers and dryers. Unplug all sensitive electronic equipment like television sets, VCRs, microwaves and computers. This reduces the electrical demand when the power is restored and reduces the chance of damage caused by electrical surges. To know when the power has been restored, leave a few light switches on.

How do I get a free energy audit of my home?

Contact SDG&E for online, mail-in, or in-home energy profiles.

What are some NO COST TIPS I can use to save energy in my home?

  1. Eliminate Wasted Energy

    Turn off appliances, lights, and equipment when not in use. You can also save by unplugging electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use. Don't forget to turn computers and printers off at the power strip.

  2. Turn Up Your Thermostat

    During warm weather months, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when you are home, and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. You can save up to 3 percent for each degree the thermostat is set above 72 degrees.

  3. Limit Swimming Pool Operating Time

    Reduce the operating time of your pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep to four to five hours, and only during off-peak times.

  4. Use Your Appliances Wisely

    To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours -- from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- or anytime an electricity emergency is declared. Do laundry more efficiently by using warm or cold water settings for washing your clothes. Always use cold water for rinsing clothes. Line dry clothes whenever you can. When you need to use the clothes dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the lint trap after each use. Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air-dry the dishes instead.

What are some LOW COST TIPS I can use to save energy in my home?

  1. Use Energy Efficient Lighting

    Replace regular incandescent light bulbs that are used more than two hours per day with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use approximately 75  percent less electricity than regular light bulbs and last up to seven years! Buy Energy Star certified table lamps, light fixtures, or torchieres.

  2. Wrap Your Water Heater

    If your water heater is older than 10 years, wrap it with an insulating blanket.

  3. Replace Air Conditioner Filters

    Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit and save up to 2 percent.

  4. Plug Your Home's Leaks

    Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.

  5. Install Energy-Saver Showerheads

    This can save not only electricity, but water as well.

  6. Install an Energy Star Thermostat

    This can save up to 3 percent of your electricity use.

What are some wise INVESTMENT TIPS that can increase the energy efficiency of my home and save me long-term energy costs?

  1. Use Energy Efficient Windows

    Replace old windows with new high performance, energy efficient windows.

  2. Install a Whole House Fan

    An attic "whole house" fan draws cooler air into your home and forces hot air out through attic vents. Use it when the air is cool outside and in the early morning hours.

  3. Increase Attic Insulation

    Insulate ceilings to R-30 standards if your attic has less than R-19.

  4. Seal Your Ducts

    Leaking ductwork accounts for as much as 25  percent of cooling costs in an average home. Have your ducts tested and get any leaks or restrictions repaired by a qualified contractor.

  5. Buy Energy Star Appliances

    When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase energy-efficient ENERGY STAR models. Also, look for seasonal incentives sponsored by utility companies for energy-efficient appliances.