What if I told you there was one small thing you could do that would simultaneously make your daily life better, help your community and benefit the whole planet? Oh, also, it will take you just a couple minutes to take care of: sign up for an online account with PG&E. It might sound mundane but with a couple keystrokes you can cut clutter, make bill paying easier, and find ways to save money each month.
I'll be honest I haven't thought much about my energy bill, my energy use or PG&E for years. This year has been different. Northern California has had intense storms that made trees fall like dominos. During one storm, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized things seemed even darker than normal. Not only was my clock dark, but I could see that the streetlights were out too. Since I was now fully awake and wondering about school cancellations, I got on my cell phone to see if I could report the outage or check on its status. Not only could I report it, but I could also sign up for notifications about the fix. Knowing that I had a way to stay on top of it actually let me get back to sleep rather than staying up to worry and wonder. Fortunately, it was all fixed by the time I got up the next morning. I made a mental note to see what else I might be able to do on PG&E's site.
Later that day I went back to PG&E's site (this time on my computer rather than my phone) and saw for myself that much had changed since I signed up for service with PG&E over fifteen years ago. While I love paying bills online I'm not sure it even occurred to me that I could do that with my energy bill too. Each month I've been hauling out my checkbook and mailing off my payment stub then putting the rest of the bill in a pile to shred later. So right there I signed up to pay my bill online. I love knowing I can save myself time as well as cut the paper clutter in my house in just a couple clicks. Knowing that I'm cutting waste just in time for Earth Day is an added bonus too! Once I was there I also realized I could set up alerts on our account to tell me if we were getting close to a certain limit. That way we have feedback on some of our energy use (and can make adjustments) before we see the final bill.
Other great features I found was the Home Energy Checkup. I answered a couple quick questions and could see how we were using energy (heating, lighting, etc.). Then I got to check out tips for adjustments we could make to save more. I was also fascinated by the feature that showed how our energy use compared to similar households in our neighborhood. After taking a look at how we stacked up I went into detective mode to see what caused our usage to spike in December. (Likely culprits sick days at home with the heat turned up and probably our Christmas Tree lights! We'll be looking into converting to LED tree lights next year.) Shorter term, we are looking at ways we can turn off power strips when we aren't using them and making sure the new dishwasher we are shopping for is ENERGY STAR® certified.
This year, when my son asks what we do to conserve for his Earth Day report I'll have a load of things we've done that make our daily lives better while we make things better for our community and the planet! Why not take a moment out of your own day to signup for an online account with PG&E and see what you can accomplish in a couple clicks?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG&E. The opinions and text are all mine.