We've put together a list of seven achievable New Year's resolutions to help you become a clean energy champion this year!
1. Power your home with 100% renewable energy
One of the simplest yet most significant steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is choosing to run your home on 100% renewable energy. Without changing anything else about your lifestyle, you'll eliminate nearly all the emissions from your electricity use and support local renewable energy sources by opting up to EverGreen.
2. Conserve energy during peak hours
The demand for electricity spikes between 4 pm and 9 pm, when most people get home from work and start running their appliances. Avoiding energy-intensive activities like doing laundry or running the dishwasher during peak hours will help you save on your monthly bill and reduce the need for non-renewable energy sources to be utilized to meet electricity demands.
3. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs
Light-emitting diode lights, or LEDs, are the most efficient option when it comes to lighting. In fact, LED lights are approximately 90% more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs (1). Plus, they'll last longer. To help get you started, our DIY Toolkits, which you can check out at almost all Sonoma or Mendocino County Libraries, contain 4 LED lightbulbs to install in your home for free!
4. Use less hot water at home
For most households, water heating is the second-largest energy expense in your home, behind heating and cooling. Just heating water can account for about 18% of your utility bill (2). Simple steps such as lowering your water heater’s temperature, fixing small leaks, washing your clothes in cold water when possible, and installing low-flow faucets and showerheads can help reduce your energy bill.
For even bigger savings, consider replacing your water heater with a heat pump water heater, which can be two to three times more energy-efficient than conventional gas or electric resistance water heaters. SCP is currently offering $700 off Rheem heat pump water heaters. Click here to learn more!
5. Reduce food waste
The journey that food makes before getting to our table produces a lot more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than we often think about. Production, transportation, and cooking all require the use of energy, giving wasted food quite a large carbon footprint. Also, food waste that’s sent to the landfill releases methane, one of the most potent GHGs. Start a compost bin at home and/or see if your garbage collector provides green waste collection services.
6. Drive less
In Mendocino and Sonoma counties, transportation accounts for the largest portion of community-wide GHG emissions. By driving just 10 miles less each week, you can personally prevent 500 lbs. of CO2 pollution every year (3)! Walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation whenever you can. If driving to work every day is a must, making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV) will significantly reduce your emissions and help save you money on fuel and maintenance in the long run.
7. Check that you’re on the best electricity rate plan
Being on the right rate plan can help to reduce both your Sonoma Clean Power and PG&E monthly charges, ensuring that you receive the lowest bill possible. When deciding which rate to be on, you should consider your lifestyle and what times of day your household uses the most electricity. If you’re able to conserve energy or shift your usage during peak hours of the day, you may benefit from a time-of-use (TOU) rate. If you have an electric vehicle, you should consider our EV2A rate which is designed specifically for EV owners and applies to both home energy use and electric vehicle charging. To compare rate plans and choose the best option for you, visit www.pge.com/myenergy.
*Please note that SCP’s rate plans and monthly charges are for energy generation only. The cost for transmission and distribution are included in PG&E’s rates and charges. All rate changes must be made through PG&E by visiting www.pge.com or calling (866) 743-0335 for standard customers, or (877) 743-4112 for solar customers.