It’s summertime and the living is hot and sticky. 

And as Southern California temperatures continue to climb upward, reaching triple digits in some areas, air conditioners will get a rigorous workout as customers seek relief from the severe heat. However, increased air-conditioner usage can spike electricity consumption and raise utility bills. 

Southern California Edison (SCE) offers several programs, tools and energy-saving tips designed to help keep customers cool, conserve energy, earn up to $200 in bill credits, protect the environment and more during peak times of the day this summer.   

“At Southern California Edison, we care about our customers and want to make sure they know about the tools and resources available to help them manage their energy usage and costs,” said Marlyn Denter, SCE manager of Consumer Affairs. “In addition to the wealth of information and self-service options on our website, our customer service representatives are also here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” The telephone number is 1-800-655-4555. 

At SCE’s My Account, customers can learn about new Web tools that work together with a smart meter to help plan and manage a household’s use of energy. Customers can oversee their energy management with features designed to help earn bill credits. 

Who isn’t on a budget these days? SCE’s Budget Assistant lets customers manage their energy spending. Set a spending goal and Budget Assistant will track costs online in close to real-time, sending customers alerts on how their projected bill compares to that goal.  

SCE customers who participate in Save Power Days can earn up to $100 in bill credits each year and help conserve some energy. When a Save Power Day is called, customers will be asked to reduce their electricity usage between 2-6 p.m. Customers can select how they would like to be notified, either by phone, email or text.

Enrollees in SCE’s Summer Discount Plan can receive bill credits of up to $200 by allowing their central air conditioner to be temporarily turned off or cycled remotely during peak times of the day. This is a free, year-round program with savings typically generated from June 1 through Oct. 1. There are a variety of plans and options offered.  

Looking for a place to stave off the sweltering heat? Some community businesses and organizations serve as rotating outage Cooling Stations or Cooling Centers — places where people with medical conditions that make them unusually sensitive to extreme temperatures can go to cool off. Pretty cool indeed. 

SCE customers can get more energy-saving tips at Twitter.com/SCE.

Here are some tips to conserve energy and help keep SCE customers cool:

  • Keep outdoor activities to a minimum and drink a lot of water during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning when practical. 
  • Reduce electricity use between noon-6 p.m. — peak hours of energy use. 
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room. 
  • Limit how often you open your refrigerator.