Stay cool during the dog days of summer!

No one likes higher-than-expected energy bills. Here are some tips to reduce your energy use during the warmer months – without sacrificing your family’s comfort.

  1. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  2. On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or better yet – grill outside!
  3. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan running concurrently will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  4. If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
  5. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  6. Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers.
  7. Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
  8. Wash clothes in cold water. About 90 percent of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
  9. Postpone using heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer to after 9 p.m.
  10. On hot afternoons, consider leaving home, and going someplace cool like the shopping mall, movie theater or library. Find a Cool Zone near you at com/coolzones.

Watch SDG&E’s one-minute video tips for more energy-saving ideas on cooling, weatherization, refrigerators, home electronics, indoor/outdoor lighting and pools.

Trying to beat the heat?

Cool Zones are places where senior citizens, and people with special needs, can comfortably escape mid-day summer heat and reduce their air-conditioning use, which helps save on energy costs. Cool Zones are established by the County of San Diego Aging and Independence Services (AIS) and this year are open to the public from May 22 to October 31, 2018. There are currently more than 100 Cool Zones that provide service to some of the hottest areas in the San Diego region. They are located in senior centers and other public buildings. Find your nearest Cool Zone at or call the County of San Diego at 800.510.2020 and press 6.