Comfortable over conserving? People share how much they’re paying to stay cool in SLO County

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jul 26, 2018

People have tried to beat the heat any way they could. At times that means paying more for comfortability.

The average home electricity rate in San Luis Obispo is 31 percent greater than the national average, according to Electricity Local.

But the average bill is $19 lower than the national average of $107.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has a number of tips to help lower your bill. Sometimes even a small change could make a big difference at the end of the month.

"After 9 o’clock or so, if you can shut off your air conditioner, that’s the recommendation we would make," said Mark Mesesan, PG&E Communication Rep.

Watch the video and see how much people are paying to keep cool during the dog days of summer.

Here is a helpful list of tips to lower that bill:

Tips for cooling your home or building

  • Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when you’re at home, health permitting, and 85 degrees when you’re away.
  • Setting your AC thermostat 5 degrees higher will save about 10 percent on cooling costs.
  • If you turn your ceiling fan on when using the air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat about 4°F to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort.
  • Shut windows and draw the shades to keep in pre-cooled air from the night and early morning.
  • Have your central cooling duct system checked for leaks. Up to 20 percent of cooled air can be lost through leaky or poorly insulated ducts.
  • Buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready to be replaced. It can reduce energy usage by up to 10 percent.
  • Avoid using an electric oven on hot days. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.

Powering electronics, lighting and appliances

  • Swap out incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting choices. ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting not only uses less energy, it also produces about 75 percent less heat than incandescent lighting, so cooling bills will be reduced, too.
  • Clean the coils on your refrigerator and don’t set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38 degrees and 42 degrees, and the freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees.
  • Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting. This will help save 5 percent on your electric bill.
  • Turn off equipment and appliances—such as lights, televisions, stereos, DVD players and computers—when you’re not using them.
  • Use appliances and charge electronic devices in the morning or after 7 p.m. (9:00 p.m. during a CAISO Flex Alert)