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November 2018
Lyon Real Estate
Cutting High Energy Costs during Peak Times

There’s a chill in the air. Finally. But cooler temps bring higher energy costs. There are many reasons and methods to curb energy usage. Not only will you save money, with minimal planning, but it also increases energy security and reduces pollution.

Time Based Rates
These can vary by season, region and utility company. It essentially means it costs less to use the majority of your power during non-peak times. PG&E offers a Time of Use plan. Off-peak hours November through April are 9:30 p.m. through 8:30 a.m. SMUD has Time of Day Rates, where homeowners pay different rates for electricity based on the season and time you use it. Peak hours are between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays. Customers must register for the programs.

Noticeable savings can be seen by running the dishwasher, washer and dryer or charging hybrid vehicles, during non-peak hours. Even using a slow cooker during the day uses less energy than cooking on an electric range or oven at dinnertime.

Phantom Power
Phantom power, vampire electricity or ghost load are all terms for standby power. It’s the electricity that’s used when a device is turned off or in standby mode. According to Energy Star, vampire power costs consumers $10 billion nationwide (and up to $100 per household) every year. The proper use of power strips - turning off chargers, lamps, computers, televisions and unplugging coffee machines, toasters, etc. when not in use -- will save money.

Use a programmable or smart thermostat to reduce heating (and air conditioning) usage during peak times, especially when no one is home. You can save up to ten percent a year on heating and cooling costs by adjusting your thermostat seven to ten degrees, eight hours a day. Energy Saver recommends setting the thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter months and even lower when asleep or away from home.

Most homeowners aren’t aware of how much power they’re using, or when.

Utility companies can also assist. SMUD can send updates on energy usage and recommend ways to cut back. PG&E offers Home Energy Checkups and also allows you to track and analyze usage and costs.

Angela Dougan
Angela Dougan Direct

Cal BRE#

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