CHICO, Calif. — Some California utility customers in the central valley saw a $500-600 dollar electric bill increase over the summer, according to an energy expert.
With record-breaking heat over the summer, utility bills have skyrocketed not only with increased usage, but with rates from common California utility companies rising.
KRCR spoke with the CEO of OhmConnect, an Oakland-based energy management company that works with utilities like PG&E, solar companies, and even Google to come up with the best ways for people to save energy and lower their utility costs.
During a Flex Alert, officials urge Californians to use less energy from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., when demand is at its highest.
But, why is the demand so high? OhmConnect CEO and former assistant Energy Secretary for the Clinton Administration Cisco DeVries says California’s solar power use is highest around noon, and tapers off in the afternoon as the sun sets.
“There’s actually fairly inexpensive power and usually even extra solar that we don’t even eat during the middle of the day,” Devries said. “The middle of the day is very cheap and they can charge you lower rates, the problem is, when the sun goes down, [that] is exactly when people get home from work, home from school, they are turning on their air conditioning, [and] they are cooking dinner that moment is the new peak.”
DeVries emphasized that it’s more about when you use your energy, and not how much you use, that can significantly cut down costs on your utility bill.
OhmConnect has a free program that pays its users to save energy at critical times.
Find out more information about how to sign up, here.