San Diego Gas & Electric
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 5, 2007 - With winter approaching quickly, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is offering tips for staying warm and energy efficient at the same time.
“Home heating and water heating make up about 85 percent of winter natural gas use,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer services for SDG&E. “The best way to reduce winter gas bills is to conserve energy.”
• When using the home furnace, lower the thermostat 3 degrees to 5 degrees (health permitting) and turn it off when not at home. This can help save up to 20 percent on heating costs.
• Up to 40 percent of a home’s heat loss takes place due to inadequate attic and wall insulation. Upgrade insulation to save up to 25 percent on heating costs.
• Have air ducts tested for leaks. Seal any leak and save up to 20 percent on winter heating costs.
• Check the furnace filter monthly and clean or replace it, per manufacture’s recommendations, to save up to 2 percent on heating costs. This is particularly important this year due to ash and soot from the recent fires.
• Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
• Use an extra blanket and turn down the furnace thermostat at night as the weather turns cooler.
• Use cold or cool water when washing clothes to save up to 20 percent on hot-water costs.
• Run the dishwasher only when full.
SDG&E offers rebates on qualified high-efficiency water heaters, attic and wall insulation and other home-improvement items. Energy-efficiency program information and applications are available at www.sdge.com.
Mueller said customers should be aware that severe cold weather in the United States can boost natural gas demand and prices and, consequently, customer bills.
Residential customers of SDG&E can expect average winter monthly heating costs for 50 therms of natural gas to be about the same as last year -- $60 to $70, as compared with $66 last winter. The combined monthly energy bill for a typical residential customer is likely to be about $130 to $140, as compared with $138 last year, based on 50 therms of gas usage and 500 kWh of electricity usage.
SDG&E customers living in apartments will see average monthly heating costs for 25 therms of natural gas of about $27 to $37, as compared with $32 last winter, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month, will see an average monthly gas cost of about $350 to $380, as compared with $377 last winter.
The combined monthly energy bill for customers living in apartments is likely to be about $65 to $75, as compared with $71 last year, based on 25 therms of gas usage and 300 kWh of electricity usage. Small business customers are likely to see a combined monthly energy bill for 300 therms and 1,500 kWh of about $565 to $595, as compared with $606 last winter.
For eligible customers with limited income, SDG&E offers a 20-percent rate discount on monthly gas bills through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program and free energy-saving home improvements, including repair or replacement of qualifying home furnaces, through the Energy Team program.
For more information on conservation and simple home-improvement tips, as well as energy-efficiency rebates and assistance programs, customers should visit SDG&E’s Web site at www.sdge.com, or call SDG&E toll-free at (800) 411-SDGE (7343).
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.3 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 800,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life. SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.