PG&E Helps Customers Manage Energy Costs and Save Money this Winter

More than 70% of winter energy use comes from heating system, water heater & washer/dryer

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— It’s wintertime which means natural gas appliances are working overtime to keep homes warm and comfortable. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) understands increased usage can result in higher energy bills and wants to equip customers with techniques to help reduce costs.

The first step is helping customers understand which of their appliances use the most energy in the home during the coldest months. Being equipped with this knowledge helps customers make informed decisions and make adjustments that translate to actual savings on energy bills.

“It can be frustrating to make changes in the home to save energy and not notice a decrease in your bill. We want to point out where customers can change their habits and make small home improvements that could add up to savings.,” said Vincent Davis, PG&E’s Senior Director of Customer Energy Solutions

The heating system, water heater, and washer/dryer account for more than 70% of winter energy use in the home. PG&E offers the following tips to safely reduce the costs associated with these natural gas appliances.

Ways to Save Energy this Winter

  • Enhance Furnace Efficiency: Check furnace filters regularly. Change out filters if dirty- or at least every three months. A clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
  • Improve Duct Performance: In a typical house about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Make sure all connections at vent registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceilings. These are the common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork. Many homeowners choose to work with a professional contractor for duct improvement projects.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater: The recommended temperature is 120°F.  For every 10ºF reduction in temperature, customers can save from 3%–5% on water heating costs. Also take shorter showers and don’t leave water running.
  • Wash Clothes in Cold Water: Use the cold water setting on the clothes washer to use less energy on water heating, wash full loads, and longer spin times reduce the amount of drying energy needed. Water heating makes up about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer.
  • Don’t Over Dry Clothes: If the dryer has a sensor that automatically turns it off when the clothes are dry, use it. Dry full loads and clean the lint trap before every load.

There are several things that can be done to help control energy costs besides simply using less natural gas. One of the ways to use less energy is to replace old, inefficient appliances with new, more efficient ones. To find out what is eligible for a rebate and easily apply online click here. For more tips on saving energy this winter, visit

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

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