SDG&E Offers Energy-Savings Tips for the Winter Season

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --The holiday season is upon us and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) wants to help customers become more energy-efficient this holiday season with easy tips on how to stay warm while also saving money.

"As we begin to see temperatures drop, it's a good reminder to schedule an appointment to have home furnaces inspected," said Caroline Winn, vice president of customer services for SDG&E.  "Keeping all home gas appliances in good working order is essential to ensuring that they are running efficiently and safely." 

As a reminder, gas appliance maintenance is always the homeowner's responsibility.  However, SDG&E will perform appliance safety checks upon request.  To schedule an appointment, call SDG&E at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343) or schedule an appointment online through MyAccount or by using the "Check My Appliances" link on our website.

Tips on staying warm while saving money

There are simple no cost measures customers can do to save money while staying warm this season:

  • Since home heating typically accounts for more than half of the monthly winter gas bill, the best way to keep winter gas bills lower is to have gas appliances serviced and inspected.  Remember, keeping all gas appliances in good working order helps them run efficiently and safely. 
  • Lower the furnace thermostat three degrees to five degrees, health permitting.  This can help save up to 30 percent on winter bills. 
  • Open curtains and/or blinds during the day to let the sun help warm your home; close them at night to keep the warm air in. 
  • Seal gaps around windows and doors using insulating tape or caulking strips to eliminate drafts. 


Winter heating safety tips

SDG&E offers customers the following recommendations for safe and efficient operation of their natural gas appliances:

  • Reminder: never use your outdoor barbeque, range or oven to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.  If used indoors they can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Vacuum and clean regularly around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.
  • Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home.  Check the filter monthly for lint build-up during periods of furnace use and clean or replace, if necessary.
  • Never store anything near a gas appliance that might interfere with normal appliance airflow.
  • When installing a new or cleaned filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly.  Never operate the furnace without the front panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Carbon monoxide safety tips

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is formed when carbon-based fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil, charcoal or wood, are burned with inadequate amounts of oxygen, creating a condition known as incomplete combustion.  When incomplete combustion occurs, carbon monoxide is produced, and this can potentially lead to carbon monoxide poisoning to a family.

Earlier this year, the new Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act went into effect which now requires homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors in every California home. 

The early stages of carbon-monoxide poisoning produce unexplained flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and mental confusion.  Since carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood, prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to death by asphyxiation.

Signs that may indicate the presence of carbon monoxide:

  • A yellow, large and unsteady gas appliance burner flame (with the exception of decorative gas log appliances).
  • An unusual pungent odor when the appliance is operating.  This may indicate the creation of aldehydes, a by-product of incomplete combustion.
  • Unexplained nausea, drowsiness and flu-like symptoms.


What to do if someone suspects carbon monoxide is present in their home:

  • If safe to do so, immediately turn off the suspected gas appliance.
  • Evacuate the premises and call 911.
  • Seek medical attention if anyone in the home experiences possible carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
  • Contact SDG&E or a licensed, qualified professional immediately to have the appliance inspected.
  • Don't use the suspected gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by SDG&E or a licensed, qualified professional.


For more information on operating your gas appliances safely, please visit SDG&E's website at or call 1-800-411-SDGE (7343).

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. 



For further information: CONTACT: Allison Zaragoza of San Diego Gas & Electric, 1-877-866-2066,, Twitter: @sdge