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Tips to avoid summer energy bill spike

Posted: 5:49 PM, Jun 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-14 20:57:04-04
sdge bill.jpg

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)— With the start of summer just days away, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) is encouraging customers to take advantage of free programs that could potentially save a significant amount on their energy bills.

10News has reported on dozens of stories in which customers are outraged by unexpectedly high bills and surprise “High-Usage” fees. But SDGE says it does not have to be this way if customers switch to the “Level Pay” Option.

“This is a really great way to avoid the high spike on your bill, let’s say in July or August,” SDGE Spokesman, Wes Jones said.

For the “Level Pay” option, SDGE takes the average of the last 12 monthly bills and charges the customer the same amount for the next three months. This means there are no surprises during the summer months.

“You are tapping into those months where you didn’t run your AC in February, so your bill is lower,” Jones said. “So this is a great solution for that type of customer that has that volatility throughout the year.”

SDGE says another free money-saving option is to switch to the “Time-Of-Use” Plan. As long as the customer keeps track of when they use power, they can save money.

Standard Summer Pricing:

Tier 1: 0-130% use of baseline: $0.29 per kWh
Tier 2: 133-399% use of baseline: $0.39 per kWh
*“High-Use” Charge: 400%+ use of baseline: $0.55 per kWh

Time-Of-Use Summer Pricing:

On Peak: 4pm-9pm
Tier 1: 0-130% use of baseline: $0.46 per kWh
Tier 2: 133-399% use of baseline: $0.57 per kWh

Off-Peak Hours: 6am-4pm AND 9pm-midnight
Tier 1: 0-130% use of baseline: $0.24 per kWh
Tier 2: 133-399% use of baseline: $0.35 per kWh

Super Off-Peak Hours: Midnight-6am
Tier 1: 0-130% use of baseline: $0.19 per kWh
Tier 2: 133-399% use of baseline: $0.30 per kWh

Time-Of-Use Pricing does not have the *“High-Use” Charge tier. SDGE recommends customers to take advantage of this to pre-cool their home during off-peak hours.

“At noon, 1 pm, or 2 pm, crank up that AC,” Jones said. “Get that house nice and cool. And as it gets later in the day, adjust that thermostat.”

If you use an AC, remember to change out your AC filter. That makes your machine run much more efficiently. And if you want to save even more money, try using the fan.

“That is going to be about seven times cheaper than running a room AC unit,” Jones said. “So if you can stand using a fan for a few hours here and there as opposed to that room AC you’re going to save some money on your bill.”

When all else fails, remember to get back to basics. Simple things like checking for window and door seals, and rolling down your sun shades can make a big difference.

Customers can change their settings to the “Level Pay” Option and “Time-Of-Use” plan at any time for free at SDGE.com/LPP.