We don't generally discuss politics, but when we see a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill pass through the Senate, House and Trump with flying colors, it's worth a mention and is something to celebrate.
That said, it is also important to discuss what this means for you and your electric bills. Despite receiving financial installments from the stimulus, will it be enough to cover your home energy costs? Before the lockdown, a family of four may have only used 1/3-1/4 of the energy. With it in place, that family will likely see the usage triple, even with a conservative consumption lifestyle.
For those of you, who have gone solar and are enjoying the savings - we salute you - you're off the hook (but please make sure to get your backup power ahead of power shutoffs and the wildfire season to skip the waitlist). If you're still grid-tied to PG&E or need more solar panels? The short answer is that you'll likely see a high electric bill from your day-to-day usage, during high peak rates and annual rate increases (source: PG&E). Understandably, this may feel minuscule and frankly a last priority compared to COVID-19. But we believe it is very important to be aware of, especially if you are one of the one million Californians, who recently filed for unemployment. Homeowners' electric bills could be exacerbated by these factors.
In fact, our CEO, Brett Joerger, believes now is the time to help you achieve grid defection and optimize your home energy. If there's anything you can feel more secured and certain about, it is your backup power and fixed monthly rates that are based on your own solar energy production and consumption. In Lifehacker's Lisa Rowan article, Brett discusses tips to save energy and money, even when you're stuck at home - and we've outlined them below for your convenience! 💡
How to Intelligently Avoid Peak Rate Times:
Log into your utility account app/online, and look for peak or “time of use” rates. Your rates can double during those times, so choosing the right time of day to do a load of laundry could impact how much that spin cycle costs you at the end of the month. Or you can choose to get a home battery like many of our customers. Depending on the system, this helps manage the power usage throughout the day and night. Harvesting lower-cost, cleaner energy (if you have solar), when TOU prices are lowest, and store it for use when the rates are higher, this is known as "peak shaving." Not only does the battery save thousands of dollars as a long-term investment, but it also stores solar power and provides a seamless electricity backup when you need it most. So the next time there's a California Flex Alert, to conserve power during a heatwave, or a PG&E Public Power Safety Shutdown, you're business as usual - with an abundance of energy.
Boosting Your Appliances for Optimal Performance:
Since you’re home, why not make sure your appliances and energy systems are running in tip-top shape? Anything with a motor is going to use up the most energy—think freezers, HVAC units, and pool pumps—so you’ll want to optimize those energy drains as much as possible.
- Safer: LEDs are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burnt fingers.
- Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are much more resistant to breakage.
So, yes. It's okay to light up your home.
Keeping Your Home Clean:
Vacuum under and behind your fridge to keep the condenser coils clean and working well. These coils disperse heat, but if they get gunked up with dust and pet hair, the fridge has to work harder to keep your food cold.
For the full article, read more here.
To speak with our energy advisors and take advantage of the lowest interest rates available, schedule an obligation-free call/online consultation! Until next time, stay healthy and be well.