SDG&E's November Update
Friday, November 4, 2016
by: SDG&E

Section: Trends and Tips

Heating Up For Winter: Energy-Saving Tips For Businesses

The onset of winter is the perfect time to make sure your building is operating efficiently. Whether you own or lease the building where your business is located, it's important to consider what energy-saving actions you can take to help reduce your business's energy bill. There are many ways businesses of all sizes can conserve energy and curb costs during winter months. All it takes is some preparation beforehand. Here are some easy tips to get you started.
  1. Have your HVAC system professionally servicedThe Small Business Administration recommends changing HVAC filters once a month during peak seasons, especially winter. A dirty, ill-maintained HVAC system works harder to heat your building and increases your energy costs. Dirt in air filters and ducts, on coils and other HVAC components are the leading causes of inefficient function and system failure, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  2. Eliminate heat lossPoor caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows will lead to the loss of heat and extra expenses for your business. Be sure to examine your setup at the beginning of every winter, and make repairs as needed. As part of your overall assessment, check the insulation on heating ducts and both indoor and outdoor pipes. New insulation can be far less costly than a burst pipe during the coldest days of the year.
  3. Set thermostat for greatest efficiencyHVAC systems account for a large amount of the energy consumed by businesses—space heating in particular accounts for more than 90 percent of natural gas use in retail buildings. Adjusting temperature settings can be a source of substantial savings. It’s a great idea to turn temperature settings down during unoccupied hours and on weekends during the winter. You can automate these settings with programmable communicating thermostats. You can also try implementing small temperature setbacks during working hours—a simple temperature change of 1° or 2° Fahrenheit will frequently go unnoticed by occupants. Receive a free programmable thermostat for your business! Find out if your business qualifies at
  4. Utilize free energy from the sunDaylighting – using sunlight to supplement or even replace electric lights – can help curb lighting costs. Take advantage of natural light and heat—open the blinds and let the sunlight in during the day, especially if you have southern and/or western exposure, and allow the sunlight to naturally light and heat your business. To make sure the heat stays where you need it, make sure to seal leaky windows and doors, keep exterior and freight doors closed as much as possible and consider installing strip doors to limit heat loss.
  5. Avoid space heaters Personal space heaters can consume a significant amount of energy, and they can pose a fire hazard if left on overnight. Over the course of an eight-hour workday, even a modestly-sized space heater can use as much energy as a laptop does in a month. Because the cost of heating an area with a highly efficient, well-maintained HVAC system is usually much lower than relying on personal space heaters, the best approach is to maintain the HVAC system so that it provides adequate and evenly distributed heat, and to discourage employees from using space heaters if at all possible.
For more energy-savings tips, visit SDG&E’s “energy-saving guide for business” at

Get Generator Tips – Before You Switch

With a portable electric generator or small permanent standby generator, you can keep your essential equipment running during a power outage. Before operating a generator for the first time, however, state law requires you to notify SDG&E.

Get tips on choosing and using a generator safely at

Pricing Plans for Businesses

California utilities are switching to new energy pricing based on when you use energy. Use less electricity during peak hours and you can save. Your business is now on a new time-of-use pricing plan. For more information, visit You may also call SDG&E at 1.800.336.7343 to discuss the best pricing plan for your business.