The sun rises over Encinitas on a hot morning. REUTERS/Mike Blake/file photo
The first statewide Flex Alert of the summer occurred Wednesday afternoon amid a heat wave across the West.
There’s no way to predict if there will be more, but here are six tips provided by San Diego Gas & Electric for reducing your use of electricity while staying cool on future hot days.
The key is cutting back during the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. when the electric grid is typically under the most stress due to waning solar energy and rising energy demand.
- Pre-Cool Your Home. Take advantage of lower priced energy by using your A/C to cool your home before 4 p.m. During on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., adjust your thermostat higher.
- Cool Down with a Fan. Use ceiling and tabletop fans to cool off and leave the thermostat at a higher temperature. Turn off fans when you leave a room as fans cool people, not rooms.
- Block the Sun. During the hottest part of the day, cover windows to block the sun’s heat. If you can, open windows at night and early mornings to let the cool air in.
- Use Small Appliances. Instead of the oven, use small appliances such as a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker. They use less energy and won’t add much heat to your home.
- Power Down. Switch off your electronic devices, such as computers and coffee pots, when not in use. Keep in mind, electronics in standby mode still draw power. Use a power strip to power down devices and appliances at one time.
- Shift Use. Shift some energy use — such as running a dishwasher or clothes washer — outside the on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., when demand on the electric grid is typically highest and the cost of electricity is the highest.
SDG&E said its Power Saver Rewards Program offers a credit for verified reduction in energy use during a Flex Alert. More information about the program is available online.