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Conserving energy while working from home during San Diego County heatwaves

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 20:22:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — While fall-like temperatures lingered around San Diego County for a few days, a heatwave is on the way.

Above-average temperatures are expected throughout the week with a heat advisory in effect from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Friday.

With many people still working and learning from home, you may have noticed higher energy usage on your electricity bill.

“We’re dealing with some unusual and extreme situations this year given the COVID-19 pandemic and also extreme temperatures,” said Jessica Packard, communications manager for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE).

“Look at conserving energy when you can, I know that’s easier said than done.”

She said the key to bringing down that SDG&E bill is to avoid energy usage between 4 and 9 p.m.

This time spent working from home can also come in handy.

“If you are home working, try to maybe run the dishwasher during your lunch hour when you normally wouldn’t because you’d be in the office,” she said.

To help during this pandemic, SDG&E has suspended service disconnections for those who can’t afford to pay their utility bill. SDG&E is also offering flexible payment plans.

Based on annual household income, people who qualify can also sign up for state and federal programs to get discounts on monthly energy bills.

“Look at some of ourcustomer programs and assistance optionsif you’re really struggling and want us to cater maybe something to help you get through this difficult time,” said Packard.

The hot and dry conditions across the county also cause fire concerns to grow. Firefighting agencies are asking everyone to remain cautious and avoid doing anything that can spark a fire.

Right now, Packard said there is no need for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, but SDG&E meteorologists track and monitor the weather conditions daily in case there is a change.

“At SDG&E, we really don’t want to turn off your power,” she said. “We try to give at least 48 hours’ notice in advance. It has nothing to do with high usage, but more on the high fire threat districts that say Santa Ana winds are coming through, we need to protect your house and the powerlines, should Santa Ana winds impact powerlines.”