Summer is here.

When summer temperatures rise, all we can think about is staying cool. We’re here to help with tips to help manage energy use during high heat so you can stay cool, reduce demand on the power grid and spend less on your energy bill. It’s good for you and team California.


Summer Savings

Stay cool while keeping energy costs down

 Most customers are on a Time-of-Use plans where pricing is higher from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. On our most popular plan, TOU-DR1, the lowest priced electricity is during the super off-peak hour of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the weekdays and before 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays. 

Standard Plan

Shift your use

When possible, use heat-generating appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the morning or at night. On a Time-of-Use plan, save on your bill by shifting outside the on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Standard Plan

Cool down with a fan

Use ceiling and tabletop fans to cool off and leave the thermostat at a higher temperature. Turns fans off when you leave a room as fans cool people, not rooms.

Standard Plan

Block the sun

During the heat of the day, cover windows to block the sun’s heat. If you can, open windows at night and early mornings to let the cool air in.

small appliance icon

Use small appliances

Instead of the oven, use small appliances such as a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker. They use less energy and won’t add much heat to your home.

Power Down

Power down

  Switch off your electronic devices, such as computers and coffee pots, when not in use. Keep in mind, electronics in standby mode still draw power. Use a power strip to power down devices and appliances at one time. 

Power Down

Pre-cool your home before 4 p.m.

Take advantage of lower priced electricity by setting your A/C to 68⁰ – 74⁰ before 4 p.m. During on-peak hours of 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. adjust your thermostat to 78⁰ degrees, health permitting.

Standard Plan

Check your filter

Check your air conditioner’s filter every 1-2 months and keep your clothes dryer vents and lint filters clean. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder wasting energy.

Upgraded Lighting

Check your pricing plan options

Being on the right energy plan for your lifestyle can add up to real savings on your energy bill, especially if you can shift your energy use.

More energy saving tips

Check your pricing plan options

Being on the right energy plan for your lifestyle can add up to real savings on your energy bill, especially if you can shift your energy use.

Wash with cold water

Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half; using cold water will save even more. Bonus, cold water helps your clothes last longer.  

Avoid the Oven

On hot summer days, opt for recipes that don’t require the oven or stove which can raise the temperature by 10 degrees. You’ll also save on air conditioning costs to cool down your home.

Interior Doors

Keep your interior doors open to encourage airflow, making your home feel cooler.  

Save while you sleep

Recharge your devices while you do the same, so your devices will be fully charged when you wake up.  

Utilize super off-peak rates

Maximize electricity use during the lowest rate time period to maximize your savings. For most, that’s after 9 p.m. on weekdays and before 2 p.m. on weekends. 

Energy Audit

Take our quick 5-minute survey to see where your electricity is going and get a plan to help you save 

Use Small Appliances 

Instead of the oven, use small appliances such as a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker. They use less energy and won’t add much heat to your home.

Keep your fridge full

A full fridge works more efficient than an empty one. Pack cold items together to keep your fridge and freezer cool. Consider storing a supply of emergency water to keep your fridge full.

Maximize your dishwasher

Run a full load before 4 pm or after 9 pm when energy is cheaper. Save even more by turning off the dry cycle and letting your dishes air dry.

Fire up the grill

Take the heat out of your kitchen by cooking outside. Its also a good excuse to get your family outside and away from electronics.


Programs and resources to stay cool and lower your energy bill

If you are having trouble paying your bill, call our Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 to make payment arrangements. To learn about programs that can help you with your utility bills, visit our Assistance page

Save energy and money this summer

Simple money-saving steps can lower monthly electric bills without jeopardizing safety or comfort.  Find more opportunities to save by logging into My Account to view your energy use and see how and when you’re using energy so you can make adjustments.

View Energy Usage

Cool off at a Cool Zone

Escape mid-day summer heat and reduce air conditioning usage by visiting a Cool Zone.

Save 30% or more

CARE and FERA are two programs we offer that can provide you with a monthly discount on your bill.

Get bill alerts

Keep track of your energy use and costs with email or text alerts. Stay on top of your bill, energy use and more. Visit and go to "alerts and subscriptions".

Demand Response 

If you can shift your energy use when a call for energy conservation is needed, sign up for our smart thermostat program

Flex Alert

California Statewide Flex Alert Campaign

CASIO Statewide Flex Alerts

A Flex Alert is a call for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when there is an anticipated shortage of energy supply, especially if the grid operator needs to use reserves to maintain grid integrity.

A Flex Alert is issued by the California ISO, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, which manages the flow of electricity along the high-voltage electric grid for 80 percent of California.  

Learn more about Flex Alerts


Frequently Asked Questions

Hotter weather drives up energy use, and combined with summer pricing, customers can see higher bills than normal. The increased pricing stems from a rise in electricity prices in the summer across the state as the weather heats up and there is a high demand for energy.

No. SDG&E does not profit from the sale of electricity to our customers, per state law. The cost of the electricity we purchase for our customers is a direct pass through onto customer bills.

There are some immediate benefits with Time-of-Use pricing plans over the ‘standard’ tiered plan:

    • Better use of renewable energy: Shifting energy use outside of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. means you can make better use of cleaner, renewable energy sources when they are more available to the power grid.
    • Simple shifts can equal savings – Shifting simple chores like laundry and running your dishwasher to before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m. can reduce your monthly bill on a Time-of-Use plan. Outside of the 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. timeframe, prices are lower, which provides a second opportunity to save. On a standard plan, the price is the same every hour of the day.
    • Try “A/C pre-cooling” – Take advantage of cheaper “off-peak” prices outside of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to pre-cool your home or business, then turn up the thermostat from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to gain some savings.

    Learn more about Time-of-Use at our Energy Plans for Every Lifestyle page

    We’ve received approval from the California Public Utilities Commissions on several bill-related solutions:​

    • ​Adjustment to the timing of the California Climate Credit for all residential customers: The electric credit will now be applied annually to residential customers' bills in August and September, instead of April and October, to help offset summer bills.  ​
    • Reduction in summer pricing for many TOU customers: TOU-DR2, TOU-DR-P, TOU-DR, DR-SES and EV-TOU, EV-TOU-2 and EV-TOU-5 customers can expect lower pricing this summer. Effective June 1, customers on these plans will see a 4-6% reduction on average in summer energy pricing. This lower price can help reduce spikes in summer bills, especially with more of us at home. This decrease in summer pricing will be offset by an increase of 4-7% during winter pricing months, November 1 through May 31. ​
    • ​Elimination of the High Usage Charge for Standard pricing plan customers staring June 1, 2021​
    • ​Elimination of seasonal pricing for Standard DR pricing plan: This pricing plan has one rate year-round*. In past years, the summer change reflected the increase in demand and costs for electricity as more people sought relief from hotter summer temperatures. Now those costs will be spread throughout the year creating a flatter rate that may result in lower bills in the summer, offset by slightly higher bills in the winter, assuming no change in usage.

    No. As part of ongoing rate relief, the California Public Utilities Commission approved SDG&E’s request to eliminate the High Usage Charge effective June 1, 2021.​ ​