Keep your electric bill in check during the upcoming extreme cold

With extreme cold temperatures expected over the coming week, heating systems will be working overtime and using more electricity. Since heating costs can account for 40-50% of an electricity bill, it’s important to know how to control these costs.

Be proactive now to manage your energy use to help next month’s electricity bill. Download SRE’s SmartHub app to monitor daily power use.

  • Program your thermostat to 68° or lower during the day. You can set it even lower at night while you are sleeping under comforters and blankets. Know that if your thermostat is set to 68° and the outside temperature is 28°, your heater will run nearly continuously to make up the 40° difference between the outside and inside temperatures.
  • Dress for the weather, even when inside. Put your favorite socks, sweatshirts, and blankets to use.
  • Weatherstrip or caulk around doors and windows to seal air leaks and keep heated air inside your home.
  • Run ceiling fans on the lowest setting in the clockwise direction to push heated air down to where you are. Only use ceiling fans in rooms you are occupying.
  • Open drapes or blinds during the day and let the sun help heat your home. Close drapes and blinds on the side of your house that is shaded and at night.
  • Keep garage doors closed to keep the wind outside.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed when not in use.
  • Use space heaters sparingly, if at all. Only use a space heater if you are in the room and turn it off when you leave; this is for energy-efficiency and safety reasons.
  • Wrap exposed pipes and water heaters that are in unconditioned spaces.

To help manage seasonal fluctuations of energy use on bills, SRE members can enroll in budget billing and pay an average monthly bill based on 12 months of energy use.

Visit for more energy-saving tips and for information on budget billing.