Modify energy use to save energy and money
By Pam Bold
When you use energy is becoming as important as how much you use. Utilities are introducing Time of Use (TOU) rates to encourage consumers to use less energy during peak demand times.
Utility companies and community choice aggregators procure energy generation and utilities transmit it to end users. Consumers, industry and agriculture use energy, and most of us have little knowledge of how the energy is being generated.
In late 2018, California passed SB100, an ambitious goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for its electricity by the year 2045. The bill requires that 50 percent of California’s electricity be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030. California’s Energy Commission estimates that 34 percent of California’s retail electricity sales in 2018 will be provided by Renewable Portfolio Standard eligible sources, e.g., solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric — positive progress toward SB100’s goals.
On a sunny day in the middle of summer, that electricity share can reach 50%. However, the dynamic nature of solar and wind generation chal
night, but don’t run until after 9 p.m., or in the morning.
• Charge devices and electric vehicles before 4 p.m., or after 9 p.m.
• Prepare dinner using a slow cooker during the day
• Thaw frozen items in the refrigerator
• Take advantage of a utility rebate and install a smart thermostat
• Program pool/spa pumps and heaters to run during off-peak times
Reduce consumption through general energy efficiency:
• Change to LED lightbulbs
• Weatherproof for air leaks
• Install programmable thermostats
• Replace old appliances with high-efficiency Energy Star models and models that allow for delayed start
• If your oven has a convection setting, use it instead of conventional mode, saving 20% energy
• Regularly clean and/or replace furnace and air-conditioning filters
• Clean the lint trap every time you use the dryer.
Use the climate credit you received on your electric bill this month to fund some of the energy efficiency plans you have been putting off.
In an effort to fight climate change, California requires power plants and other large greenhouse gas emitters to purchase carbon pollution permits. These credits are issued to all investor-owned utility residential and small business customers, every April and October. This year’s SCE credit is $66. According to the bulbs.com energy calculator, if you used that money to replace 16 60-Watt incandescent bulbs with 17.5 Watt LEDs, you would save $1,775 over the bulbs’ lifetime – that’s a 3,586% return on investment.
Investing in energy efficiency is a gift that keeps on giving.
Pam Bold is Executive Director of the High Sierra Energy Foundation