As Temperatures Rise, Summer Electricity Bills Don’t Have To

With high temps sometimes in the 90s and 100s, energy efficiency programs help customers put some money back in their pockets.

June 18, 2013 | By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

When the high heat of summer arrives, fun in the sun can also be accompanied by those dreaded spikes in utility bills. But that’s something the Limons, who run a family furniture business in Commerce, Calif., don’t worry about much these days.

In less than four years, the Limons, who have owned Faustino’s furniture store since 1990 and currently have 65 employees, have saved nearly $32,000 on their electricity bills. The savings have come by making some simple changes to their business, such as switching the lights to energy-efficient LEDs and shifting staff hours to early, off-peak times.

“Our employees are preparing for the summer by participating in summer incentive programs and we’re taking full advantage,” said Steve Limon. “One thing is our change in our hours. We’re getting in an hour earlier and leaving an hour earlier to avoid getting in those peak hours and being more efficient. It’s beneficial for everybody.”

The Faustino’s furniture warehouse lies within Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 50,000-square-mile territory, allowing the family to take advantage of some of the utility’s money-saving, conservation programs for businesses. The programs include Energy Efficiency Express, where they were able to switch to energy-efficient lighting, and Summer Advantage Incentive, where business customers are asked to conserve energy during the peak hours between 2-6 p.m.

But the savings aren’t limited to their business, according to Gene Rodrigues, SCE director of Demand Side Management strategy.

“Whether you are a business or a resident, we want to help our customers save money on their bills by helping them partner with us,” he said. “We want to help our customers be a part of the solution by making sure we have enough safe and affordable energy for all of us.”

Rodrigues describes his own home as “sipping energy instead of guzzling.” Most of the energy-efficiency practices he implements at home are common sense ones like shutting his drapes during the hottest hours of the day and buying Energy Star appliances. His family also uses fans to help keep cool while setting the thermostat at the recommended 78 degrees.

Rodrigues also recommends residential customers sign up for the various programs SCE offers, including Save Power Days, a program that provides bill credits in exchange for reducing energy usage during peak periods on designated days, and the Summer Discount Plan, which offers up to $200 in bill credits for customers who let SCE temporarily disable their central air conditioner.

“This is an opportunity for our customers to conserve energy and partner with us to ensure there are reliable sources of energy for all of us,” said Rodrigues.

Last summer, customers helped save 300 megawatts through conversation measures, enough to power about 200,000 homes.

With the June 7 announcement of the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant, SCE is asking customers to be especially conservation-minded to help keep the electric grid stable and reliable this summer.

SCE is continuing critical infrastructure improvements to its transmission systems and is bringing online 1,900 megawatts of generation — enough to power 1.23 million homes at a point in time — from Walnut Creek Energy Park in the City of Industry, CPV Sentinel Energy Project in the Coachella Valley and the El Segundo Generating Station.

Since 2009, the Limons have saved more than 157,000 kilowatt hours of energy at their business. And they are ready to do their part this summer.

“We’re way ahead,” said Limon of their preparations for the summer heat. “It’s a commitment. You make a commitment to save and invest the time to get it back. It affects everyone.”

For more information on ways to conserve energy and save money, go to SCE.com/save.

Topics: Customer Service, Infrastructure