SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Summer has arrived with full force, descending on the Bay Area with triple-digit temperatures and a heat advisory across parts of the region as well as a week of higher than average temps forecast in the coming days. As the mercury climbs, it’s tempting to merely batten down and crank the A/C until cooler temps return.

But running your air conditioner at full blast day and night can result in massive energy use and an unpleasant surprise when your bill arrives next month. With triple digits forecast for inland valleys and interior regions of the Bay Area, power grids could come under pressure as the demand for air conditioning increases.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is encouraging customers to take steps to conserve energy and keep their bills down and has provided some energy-saving tips for keeping your energy bill in check while keeping the inside of your home comfortable.

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Energy saving tips for hot weather

  • Raise the thermostat and turn it up or off when leaving. Customers can save on annual cooling costs for each degree the temperature is increased in their home during the hot summer months. Set the temperature at 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up at 85 degrees when not at home.
  • Install a smart thermostat. Enroll in PG&E’s SmartAC Program and receive a smart themostat at no cost after instant enrollment bonuses.
  • Check air filters once a month. Dirty filters cause the system to work harder to keep the area cool, wasting money and energy.
  • Replace inefficient appliances and electronics. Find and compare top energy efficient appliances and electronics. Check out customer ratings and available rebates to determine the best option for your home.
  • Sign up for programs: Income-qualified programs offering a monthly discount include the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARES) and the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program. Some customers may also qualify for the Energy Saving Assistance Program offering free improvements to make the home more efficient, safe and comfortable.

PG&E also has an energy saving checklist if you’re looking for additional ways to save on your energy bill this summer.