In addition to the many conservation programs that GWP offers, the utility is expanding its efforts to educate and inform customers that their energy saving actions can lead to lessening the strain on the power grid during exceptionally high temperatures and peak demand for energy. The limited availability of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon storage facility affects the production of electricity at local power plants that need to run their gas powered turbines to meet demand especially on hot summer days. In order to prevent outages, GWP is calling on all its customers to listen and respond by conserving to peak day alerts issued from the utility or Flex Alerts issued through the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). As part of this campaign, GWP will send out informational letters and energy conservation brochures to all residents.
Below are some tips for residents and business to conserve energy, especially when an alert is called.
Residential Energy Saving Tips:
- Adjust thermostats to 78 degrees or higher when home on hot days. On colder days, set thermostats to 68 or lower.
- Cool your home or space with fans.
- Close all curtains, blinds, and shades to keep the sun out.
- Air dry dishes and clothing.
- Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
- Avoid using your stove, major appliances, and oven during peak hours of the day. Cooking outside is a great alternative!
- Replace incandescent and CFL light bulbs with LEDs.
- Use weather-stripping to close air gaps in windows and doors
- Clean or replace AC filters.
- Unplug phone chargers and appliances with digital clocks.
Business Energy Saving Tips:
- Close all shades and blinds to block out sunlight
- Turn up the AC a few degrees
- Turn off unnecessary lighting especially in unused meeting or storage rooms.
- Delamp in areas where possible
- Turn off elevator banks whenever possible.
- Turn off the down escalators if possible
- Keep business doors closed if AC is running (put up a sign that says doors are closed to conserve energy).
- Advise employees to unplug phone chargers and digital clocks
- Encourage employees to turn off additional desk lighting, fans, or appliances
Staying Safe During an Outage
Power outages can happen unexpectedly at any time. Below are online resources help you and your family save energy when a Flex Alert is issued, as well as safety tips to keep in mind during an extended power outage.
More energy conservation tips on saving in different parts of your home:
In the Kitchen
- Let your dishes air dry - A dishwasher uses more energy to dry your dishes than to wash them. If your dishwasher doesn't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open to let moisture escape.
- When purchasing a dishwasher, look for energy saving features like a short wash cycle. - Shorter washing cycles with fewer rinses, save water and water-heating energy.
- Use your dishwasher only for full loads.
- If you have a freezer or second refrigerator that is nearly empty, turn it off or recycle it.
- Keep your refrigerator fully stocked. A full refrigerator uses less energy.
In The Bathroom
Limit use of portable and bathroom heaters. If you have an electric water heater, consider these money-saving tips (you will save water too).
- Tighten or plug leaking joints in hot water pipes.
- Don't let the hot water run while washing hands, brushing teeth, or shaving.
- Make sure that your hot water pipes are properly insulated. Piping insulation guards against heat loss which gets hot water to your faucet faster.
- Install LED light bulbs in your bathroom. LEDs use as much as 90% less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs.
Heating and Cooling
- Install an energy efficient thermostat.
- Don't fiddle with thermostats. Set your thermostat at 68° or lower for heating and 78° or higher for cooling.
- Insulate your home. Wall, ceiling, floor and attic insulation will keep warmth in during winter and heat out during the summer.
- Check all insulation and duct work for air leaks. Repair leaks as needed, using approved materials and methods.
- Keep draperies drawn and windows closed. This will prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from seeping in through glass areas. Weather-strip and seal around all doors and windows.
- Seal off unused rooms. Turn thermostats off and leave vents closed in unoccupied rooms to save energy.
- Help your air conditioner work more efficiently. During the summer, try to limit the use of heat-producing appliances in the kitchen and laundry areas. Clean or replace filters regularly.
- Turn off lights when they are not being used. For added savings, install LED bulbs in your lighting fixtures. They use less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times as long.
- Install ceiling fans. Creating air movement in a room can improve the comfort of the space. Ceiling fans are often all you need to make your home comfortable. They also can cut energy use and cost compared to central air conditioning.
- Install motion sensors or timers for outdoor lights, they save energy because you no longer have to remember to turn these lights off in the morning.
- Plant a tree. Use trees, awnings, and overhangs to provide shade around the outside of your home, especially on the south and west sides where the summer heat gain is greatest. Check out Tree Power.
In the Laundry Room
- Wash and rinse in cold or warm water instead of hot water whenever possible. Remember that energy is used to heat the water as well as run the washer.
- Select the correct drying time. Don't over-dry your clothes. Besides wasting energy, over-drying can give clothes a harsh feel and cause unnecessary wrinkling and shrinkage.
- Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as tumbling stops. If clothes become wrinkled from lying in the dryer, extra energy may have to be used to iron or dry them again.
- Clean the lint filter after each load to maintain full airflow and maximize drying efficiency. A clogged air filter slows drying and wastes energy.