Eddie Van Herik
San Diego Gas & Electric
SAN DIEGO, July 28, 2006 – Warmer-than-normal weather in July has increased electricity use to cool homes and businesses. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) said many customers will see higher utility bills when they are delivered next month.
The typical SDG&E residential monthly energy bill for a single-family home using 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) is approximately $71. If usage has doubled due to the record heat, residential customers can expect to see a bill of about $202.
“We want customers to take all possible conservation measures on hot summer days to reduce their energy consumption – and their bills,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president, customer services, mass markets, for SDG&E. “SDG&E has programs to assist limited-income customers and those who need electricity for medical conditions. SDG&E also offers rebates on energy-efficient appliances and home improvements. “
In addition to increased usage to combat heat, residential customers are also affected by a tiered rate system designed to encourage conservation. Under the state-mandated system, the cost of electricity increases the more a customer uses. For instance, rates for summer baseline energy – the amount of electricity needed to meet basic needs – are approximately 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour. In the third tier, a kilowatt hour will cost nearly 26 cents. August bills will show how much energy customers used in July this year, compared with the prior year and month, so that they can monitor their consumption patterns.
To conserve electricity, customers should consider:
• Setting the air conditioner up to 78 degrees, health permitting.
• Turning off lights, computers, faxes and printers when not in use and shutting off electric devices that have a ‘stand by’ setting.
• Reducing usage of, or shutting down, their pool pump.
• Closing blinds during the day and opening their windows at night, if feasible.
• Collecting full loads for the clothes and dishwasher and using cold water.
• Taking advantage of “Cool Zones” – areas set up for residents who need to escape from the heat. Call 211 or visit www.sdge.com to find the Cool Zone nearest you.
San Diego Gas & Electric is a full-service energy utility that currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters. The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border. 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. To learn more, go to www.sdge.com.