Friday, July 26, 2019

PG&E Offers Ways to Keep Air Conditioning Costs Down this Summer

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. As the mercury rises this summer, customers are looking for ways to keep their electricity bills down. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers five simple ways to beat the heat and lower air conditioner costs this July.
Across the country, home cooling costs account for a large percentage of residential electricity usage, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And many AC units are working around the clock to keep temperatures indoors cool and comfortable across parts of Northern and Central California.

“The harder the air conditioner works, the greater the energy cost. We want our customers to know there are simple and inexpensive ways to prevent their monthly energy bill from spiking during hot summer months,” said Vincent Davis, senior director of customer energy solutions at PG&E.

Weather and the climate zones where customers live impact AC usage and monthly energy bills. PG&E encourages customers to consider five easy ways to lower AC costs and still stay cool indoors this summer.
1. Use ceiling fans

Fans keep air circulating, allowing the thermostat to be raised several degrees while staying just as comfortable. However, remember to turn them off when leaving. Fans move air, not cool it, so they waste energy if left on when no one is at home or work.

2. Shade and clear the area around the AC unit
Keep outside AC equipment shaded to keep the system cooler, while ensuring the air flow isn’t blocked. Also, keep the area around the AC system clear and free of overgrown vegetation or other items that could impact equipment efficiency.

3. Reduce sunlightSunlight streaming in through windows can raise the inside temperature of homes and businesses. Planting shade trees outside windows can curb encroaching sunlight. Blackout shades or curtains are another low-cost option.
4. Replace filters as needed
Dirty air filters make your air conditioner work harder to circulate the air. Clean and/or replace air filters monthly to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

5. Avoid cooking indoorsDuring times of extreme heat, consider using low-heat emitting appliances like microwaves and crock-pots. Cooking with an oven or on a stovetop generates more heat, which strains AC systems. Reduce energy usage by cooking or grilling outside.

About PG&EPacific 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 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California.
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Below are some water safety tips:

    Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of these water conveyances, regardless of who owns them, as they are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast-moving cold water. For a number of reasons, not all areas are open for recreation.  Keep out of canals and off elevated flumes. Be mindful of signs and warnings. Stay out of areas that are signed as restricted, fenced off or buoy lined.

Know the Risks
    Prevention is the best way to save a person from drowning. By the time a person is struggling in the water, a rescue is extremely unlikely and places the rescuer at risk.
    Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia, and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
    Cold water entering the ear canal can cause vertigo and disorientation. This may confuse swimmers, causing them to venture deeper into the water.
    Cold water also reduces body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air does at the same temperature and causes impairment that can lead to fatalities.

Learn About Self-Rescue Techniques
If you do fall into the water, here are some survival tips:
o   Don’t panic. Do control breathing, don’t gasp. A sudden unexpected fall into cold water causes an involuntary gasp (or torso) reflex. It takes less than ½ cup of water in a person’s lungs to drown. When someone remains calm, they have a greater chance of self-rescue.
o   Stay with your boat. It will help you stay afloat and will be seen more easily by rescuers. If it’s capsized, try to climb on top. 
o   Stay afloat with the help of a life jacket, regain control of breathing, and keep head above water in view of rescuers.
o   If possible, remove heavy shoes. Look for ways to increase buoyancy such as seat cushions or an ice chest.
o   If you’re in the water with others, huddle together facing towards each other to help everyone stay afloat and keep warm.
o   If you do fall into a river without a life jacket on, keep your feet pointed downstream and turn onto your back.
o   If you fall into the water with waders on, roll onto the shore. Wear a belt with waders.

Know your Limits
    Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool – people tire more quickly and can get into trouble.
    Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface - this is especially the case during spring and early summer snowmelt. Rising water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
Wear a Coast Guard-approved Life Jacket
    Conditions change quickly in open water and even the best swimmers can misjudge the water and their skills when boating or swimming.

Adult Supervision
    Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Do not assume that someone is watching them. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Use the buddy system and never swim alone.

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