Southern California Edison provides electricity for approximately 15 million customers. That's why it was such a shock when the utility company announced a significant rate increase. As soon as the SCE rate increase went into effect, bills started increasing, with the average customer paying about $85 more per month than usual.
As SoCal residents, we know how stressful it can be to have our energy rates dictated outside our control. The good news is that there are ways to offset the SCE rate increase and future increases to come. In this blog, let’s explore:
- Ways to offset the SCE rate increase
- Ways to conserve energy
Burgeson's has knowledgeable advisors available to provide free estimates on solar panel and backup battery installations, offer advice on electrification, and share tips for saving energy. We also offer convenient financing options, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Want to speak with trusted experts about lowering your energy costs? Burgeson’s is here to help!
At Burgeson’s, we provide top-notch solar panels, home battery storage, high-efficiency heat pump installations, EV charger power upgrades, smart thermostats, and other products to help you save on energy costs. We also offer great deals andfinancing options to make energy-efficient upgrades more easily affordable. Call us at (909) 792-2222 for knowledgeable advice, or click below to schedule a free estimate today.
Ways to Offset the SCE Rate Increase
You can't force SCE to change its rates, but there are several ways to offset the increase. Try at least one of these methods to keep your utility bills as low as possible.
Install Solar Panels and/or a Backup Battery System
In Southern California, we enjoy more than 250 days of sunshine per year, making the Inland Empire the perfect place to install solar panels. These panels convert the sun's rays into energy you can use to power appliances, your heating and cooling system, and more.
The best part? Solar panels can save California homeowners an estimated $64,605 in energy costs over 20 years. That’s a huge savings, which you can start to take advantage of from day one of use.
If you’re seeking to gain energy independence and reduce your energy costs, a solar installation is hands down the way to achieve it. As a bonus, solar energy is much cleaner than other forms of energy, so you can also use it to reduce your carbon footprint.
At Burgeson’s, we make it easy to go solar by offering free solar estimates. Request a free estimate online, and we’ll visit your home to assess factors like your location, possible obstructions, and energy requirements. Then, we’ll help you find the right system to meet your needs and budget. We can even help you source tax credits, rebates, and financing options!
Whole-home battery backup systems offer numerous advantages for homeowners. They provide a reliable power source during outages or emergencies, ensuring homes remain safe and comfortable. This is especially important in areas frequently affected by natural disasters or other power disruptions. These systems also help in saving energy costs by utilizing stored energy during times of peak demand or high electricity rates. Furthermore, they strengthen the overall resilience of a home's power supply, offering added protection against potential power interruptions. For homes equipped with renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, these battery backup systems are particularly beneficial as they can store surplus energy, thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels and contributing to a lower environmental impact.
Invest in High-Efficiency Electric Heat Pumps
Your heating and cooling system is probably eating up most of your utility bill, and your water heater is probably coming in second. Many SoCal residents are switching to high-efficiency electric heat pumps instead of a traditional gas furnace/AC combo and heat pump water heaters instead of the standard gas-powered styles.
If you already have solar or plan to install panels, even better. Consider adding a backup battery system that you can harness and store solar energy to power your home’s comfort system, a win-win for energy savings.
Electrify Your Home with Energy-Efficient Appliances
Did you know that ENERGY STAR rated HVAC equipment can yield 10-30% savings on your annual energy bills? As we mentioned above, your heating and cooling system draws considerable power, so if yours is fairly old or outdated, you could save a substantial amount on your energy bills by upgrading to a newer, high-efficiency HVAC system.
Similarly, replacing old appliances like your fridge, washer, dryer, and dishwasher with energy-efficient ones can help you keep your electric bill in check. Over time, these appliances tend to become less efficient due to normal wear and tear.
Ways to Conserve Energy
Another way to limit the effects of the SCE rate increase is to conserve as much energy as possible. Here are a few easy things to reduce your electricity usage.
Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
Try to keep your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher during the summer. Every additional degree helps save anywhere from 4% to 8% on cooling costs. During the winter months, set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, as the U.S. Department of Energy recommends. If you use these settings, your HVAC system won't have to run constantly, reducing your energy consumption.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from a smartphone or tablet. This makes it much easier to conserve power without sacrificing your comfort. For example, instead of turning down the thermostat when you leave for work and then shivering when you get home, you can program your heating system to kick on 15 to 30 minutes before you arrive. The same approach applies during the summer months, too.
Some smart thermostats also have geofencing capabilities, which means they can detect when you're getting close to home and automatically adjust the temperature for your comfort. This helps to conserve energy while you’re away, as you won’t be paying to heat or cool an empty space.
Some even offer HVAC system monitoring to help you remember to check air filters or schedule maintenance. These things may seem small, but they really do add up. For example, regular AC filter changes can reduce your energy consumption by an estimated 5%-15%.
Shift Energy Usage to Off-Peak Hours
SCE charges less for energy used overnight, early in the morning, and on weekends. If you're concerned about your power bill, you can save money by shifting your usage to these off-peak hours. Here are a few suggestions for making the switch:
- Throw in a load of laundry before you get ready for work in the morning.
- Turn on the dishwasher before you go to bed instead of right after dinner.
- Add a timer to your water heater. Set it to turn off during peak hours.
- Charge your EV overnight instead of after work.
- Do laundry on weekends if you don't have time on weekday mornings.
Upgrade Your Home’s Lighting
One easy way to conserve energy is to replace old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average household saves $225 per year by making this simple switch. If you're always reminding the people in your house to turn off the lights, consider installing timers. Another option is to install dimmer switches on the lights you use most often.
Schedule Routine Household Maintenance
Regular maintenance keeps HVAC systems running efficiently, reducing your energy usage. During a routine maintenance appointment, one of our knowledgeable technicians can check for clogged filters, dirty condenser coils, and other issues to ensure you're not wasting energy whenever you turn on the heat or run your air conditioner. In fact, by maintaining proper airflow through your HVAC system, you can shave 15% off your energy consumption
In addition to HVAC maintenance, regular upkeep of your water heater is crucial for optimal performance and energy efficiency. Like HVAC systems, water heaters can suffer from issues like sediment build-up or malfunctioning components, significantly impacting efficiency. Regular maintenance ensures your water heater operates at peak efficiency, reducing energy consumption and prolonging the unit's lifespan. This maintenance can include tasks such as flushing the tank to remove sediment, checking the pressure relief valve, and inspecting the anode rod, all of which contribute to a more efficient and reliable water heating system.
Similarly, the efficiency of solar panel systems can be greatly affected by factors like dirt, debris, and bird droppings. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure that your solar panels are functioning at their best. At Burgeson's, we provide thorough cleaning and inspection to ensure that your solar panels are free of obstructions that can block sunlight and reduce efficiency. Proper maintenance maximizes the energy output of your solar panels and extends their lifespan, ensuring that you get the most out of your renewable energy investment.
Tired of high energy bills? Burgeson's is here to help!
Burgeson's is a family-owned business that has been providing trustworthy service since 1949. If you want to avoid large utility bills associated with SCE rate increases, call us at (909) 792-2222 today. We'll provide valuable advice on saving energy through solar and backup battery system installations and how to electrify your home. We offer convenient financing options, making it easier to protect yourself against rising utility costs.