In January 2022, several residents in San Diego expressed shock over their high electricity bills. Unusually cold weather throughout the county, along with rising natural gas prices, and an ever-increasing national rate of inflation led to a 7.6% increase in electricity charges for San Diegans.
For the average SoCal resident, adopting a few simple habits can help keep utility bills low. Read on to learn about some of the most effective ways to save on electric bills in Southern California, including investing in solar energy for your home.
Top 5 Ways to Save on Electric Bills in Southern California
For most single-family homes, cooling, heating, water heating, appliances, lighting, and electronics are the major components of a typical annual energy bill. Saving on your electricity bills means focusing on these larger appliances to reduce energy consumption, as well as following these easy steps to save on electric bills for your home:
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
- Plug Electronics into Power Strips
- Replace and Maintain Your Appliances
- Run Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
- Invest in Renewable Energy
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat lets you adjust the temperature to maintain comfort throughout your home. You can set your thermostat to scale back heating or cooling when you’re away or asleep. A smart thermostat allows you to use your phone to set an automatic schedule remotely, and gives you data to help manage energy usage. Adjusting your home’s thermostat to 76–78 degrees can still keep the indoors comfortable while reducing energy consumption.
For every degree the thermostat moves up or down, you can save about 2% of your energy bill.
Plug Electronics Into Power Strips
Home appliances continue to draw power when hibernating, in standby mode, or even when turned off. Plugging them into smart power strips allows you to separate devices that need to maintain network connection, while cutting power to devices not in use, such as a TV, lamps, or speakers.
Replace and Maintain Your Appliances
A 10-year-old HVAC unit uses more power than today’s newer models. Replacing older, inefficient equipment with ENERGY STAR appliances can help reduce energy costs in the long run. A home equipped with ENERGY STAR-certified appliances utilizes 35% less energy. In addition, proper maintenance of HVAC systems, like cleaning and changing air filters; checking for refrigerant leaks; checking drain and pan drip lines; among other routine tasks can help prevent emergencies as well as improve energy efficiency.
Run Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
The price of electricity drastically changes depending on the hour of the day. In Southern California, peak hours are between 4 and 9 p.m., when the sun is setting. Electricity is cheapest during off-peak hours after sundown, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; and right after sunrise, between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Waiting to run large appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during these off-peak hours can help lower your utility bills significantly.
Invest in Renewable Energy
Going solar is the ultimate way to save on your monthly energy bill. A residential solar setup can generate anywhere between 350-850 kWh/mo. (depending on the size and number of panels), whereas your home uses approximately 893 kWh of energy per month. Solar home energy systems give utility companies access to the extra electricity you generate, relieving strain on the main grid. They also let you benefit from net metering credits while they last.
It’s important to remember that any significant savings on your electric bill requires continuous, proactive efforts. Adopting these simple habits can reduce your home’s energy consumption so you save on electric bills, both in the short- and long-term. Switching to solar energy is one such long-term cost-reduction strategy for utility bills and requires an experienced solar installer to help you implement renewable energy in your home.
Partner With a Solar Installer To Lower Your Energy Consumption
At Baker Electric Home Energy, we enable you to generate your own renewable energy and power your home efficiently without steep electricity bills. As a long-term SoCal-based company, we understand the challenges you face in keeping your environment comfortable despite high energy bills.
With over 16,500 successful solar installations under our belts, our high-quality designs and experienced installers can help homeowners lower electric bills and recoup substantial savings. Our dedicated team takes care of every step of the process—financial consulting, designing, permitting, installing, and repairing—to help convert your home to renewable energy with as little hassle as possible.