Since it just became hot in Southern California and in about a month you’ll open your power bill to rediscover the financial outrage that faded last Fall, you may want to implement some of these easy and cheap energy saving tips. With electricity rates changing, energy prices going up and the heat sticking around longer you’ll have more to spend on funner things.

First, evaluate your current SCE rate and determine if going to TOU early will save money based on use history. This alone could save you up to $500 this year*.

Second, if you have not switched your high use lighting to LED now is the time. Removing old bulbs inside and out can save up to 90% and significantly reduce your heat gain inside.

Third, spray clean your outside compressor/condenser; this can add 5% efficiency to your AC operation. Replacing the inside AC air filter and setting your thermostat a degree or two warmer or replacing it with a programmable t-stat could save up to an additional 10% on AC operation.

Fourth, make sure your doors and windows close snugly and if they are not, replace the weather stripping and caulk around any “leaky” areas. This can squeeze another 5% savings from the AC operation. Shading sunny side windows and doors outside will help as well.

Fifth, check your HVAC ducting for leaks, add an attic fan and add some insulation in the attic. Ducting leak repair and additional Insulation benefits year round and an attic fan can keep your ceiling inside 15-20 degrees cooler. This can add up to 20% in additional AC operation savings.

A portable AC unit in a main living or bedroom to augment, your central unit, ( ) can also work well when you combine it with a programmable thermostat.

Thinking about a grid-tied rooftop solar PV system? Hardware prices have gone down but regulatory and interconnection costs have risen so do your homework. Sometime identifying an area of power consumption and minimizing that, (a variable speed pool pump or a soft start AC unit) may be your best path. See the incentives at the link below.

Solar Credits & Rebates:

*SCE New Time of Use Rates:

If most of your electrical use is 2pm to 8pm and total monthly use is over 700kWh, the TOU kWh rate for that time can be $0.32, $0.33 or $0.44/kWh in addition to the delivery & generation charges, taxes and other fees.

So pick something, anything and save money.

Have a great Summer!