Combating Increasing Energy Costs - You Have The Power!
If you’re a PG&E customer, you’ve probably felt seen your energy bills increasing throughout 2022. The bad news is that they will only continue to increase over the next 4 years, but the good news is that ATCAA’s Energy program provides financial assistance with those high energy bills. Although we can’t change the expected rate increases, we can curb our energy bills by changing how we use home energy.
Over the course of the year, Californians have seen rate increases on their PG&E bills. PG&E will complete a rate increase of around 22% by the end of 2022. The company claims that these rate hikes will ultimately reduce the cost of energy in the long run. It doesn’t stop there, though, as they plan to increase rates 22% from 2023-2026. That is a total of a 44% rate increase in 4 years. While we can’t change the rate increases, we can change the way we’re using energy at home.
Here are a few simple ways you can reduce your energy and water consumption:
- Plug electronics into a power strip that you can turn off when things are not in use
- Take shorter showers
- Turn while scrubbing your hands, shaving, or brushing your teeth until you need to rinse
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater
- Only run full loads of clothes in your washer or dishes in your dishwasher
- Water lawns at night or in the early morning while it’s cool
You can reduce your home energy consumption by upgrading appliances to help with unnecessary power use. From low-flow showerheads to newer energy-efficient appliances, simple upgrades can go a long way. If these home upgrades are out of your budget, consider looking into ATCAA’s Weatherization program. Upon qualification, you may be eligible for evaluation of your home energy consumption. Not only can our Weatherization team help improve the comfort of your home, but they may also help you reduce your energy bills. Weatherization services are sponsored by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Federal Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Home improvements may include (when feasible):
- Weather stripping
- Window caulking
- Low-flow showerheads
- Attic & floor insulation
- Evaporative coolers and covers
- Replace broken glass
- Pipe wrap
- Replace broken lights
- Electric water heater timers
- Outlet & switch gaskets
- Minor home repairs
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Refrigerator replacement
- Smoke alarms & night lights
- Energy efficient LED bulbs
If you’re still finding that your high energy bills are too much for your budget, ATCAA’s Utility Bill Assistance program may be able to help you. ATCAA’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides one-time financial assistance to help Californians who are struggling to pay overdue residential water or wastewater bills. ATCAA also offers financial assistance for PG&E and propane bills. Utility Bill Assistance is provided as long as funding is available. To learn more about Utility Bill Assistance or Weatherization services, you can visit atcaa.org/energy.