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5 Ways to Take Action on Energy Efficiency Day, Oct. 7

SCE joins utilities, government agencies and others nationwide to promote actions that reduce long-term energy usage.

Through the first six months of this year, Southern California Edison has partnered with its customers — through more than 90 energy-efficiency programs it offers — to save 400 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy.

Why is that important? Energy efficiency reduces the need to produce energy to serve customer homes and businesses. As such, this reduction in electricity produced has roughly the same impact on the environment as removing 30,000 combustion engine vehicles from California’s roads.

“Edison’s energy-efficiency programs provide ways for all customers, no matter if they are a large business or a modest home, to save energy and save money,” said Tory Weber, SCE’s principal manager of Energy Efficiency Products. “These savings can help customers reduce their energy burden and free up money for other expenses — which is especially important during these challenging times.”

Energy efficiency refers to actions that impact long-term energy usage. For example, replacing older appliances, or equipment — like heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and LED lighting — with newer energy-efficient models.

Energy Efficiency Day is an annual nationwide awareness event, supported by hundreds of utilities, companies, government agencies and energy-saving advocacy groups, to spread the word about energy efficiency’s numerous benefits, such as lowering costs, reducing pollution and making homes and business environments healthier.

Here are five simple actions customers can take to observe Energy Efficiency Day and increase energy efficiency in your home:

  1. Keep your HVAC unit free from dust and debris that can clog the system and force it to work harder. Also, make sure the air flow from vents or ducts is not blocked by furniture or curtains.
  2. Reduce the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home by caulking (generally used for cracks and openings around door and window frames) and weather-stripping (to seal components that move, like doors and operable windows).
  3. Using cold water when doing laundry saves energy and is less likely to shrink or fade clothes; 75%-90% of all the energy a washing machine uses is for heating water. Also, since washing machines use about the same amount of energy regardless of load size, try to run full loads as much as possible.
  4. Open the door to your dishwasher as soon as its cycle completes, and the dishes are still hot; letting the dishes air dry uses much less energy. Also, avoid using the dishwasher during the hottest part of the day, since the extra heat inside your house will make your HVAC system work harder.
  5. Reset your electric water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees, which is lower than the usual default setting of 140 degrees, but most people won’t notice the difference. Also, instead of running your water heater 24/7, install a timer and set it to run only when you are home and need hot water.

Find more energy-efficiency tips, visit SCE’s Home Efficiency Guide.