Heatwave tips and resources
We're here to help find ways to reduce your electricity use and keep you safe and cool during hot days.
We have suggestions to help you stay comfortable while conserving energy.
- To help conserve power during heatwaves, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. You'll save around 5 to 10 percent on cooling costs for every two degrees you raise the temperature.
- Decreasing your AC use is the most effective way to save energy. Most people can raise the temperature 3-4 degrees and still stay comfortable by closing shades and using fans. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room.
- Sunlight passing through windows heats your home and makes your AC work harder. You can block this heat by closing your window blinds or drapes.
- If you have one or more window air conditioners, consider turning them off between 5-8 PM in the rooms you're not using. Or turn them all off and use fans to stay cool, but remember to stay hydrated.
- If you're home on a weekday before 5 PM, precool your home. Turn on the air conditioning in the morning, then turn it off before the peak hours of 5-8 PM to enjoy the cool air you have stored up.
- Avoid heating up you kitchen by preparing cold meals or putting your grill to work. Or use your oven or stove earlier in the day or later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
- Use small appliances to cook. Microwaves, toaster ovens and pressure cookers use about 66% less energy than a conventional oven.
Around the house
- Appliances typically account for 13% of your total energy use. Try to avoid using multiple appliances like your dishwasher, air conditioner and washer and dryer at the same time between 5 - 8 PM during the week, when rates are highest.
- You can't unplug some big electricity users, like your fridge. But did you know you can save nearly as much by unplugging your DVR and game consoles? Advanced power strips can also help save energy on devices not in use. Shop now and get instant rebates at SMUD Energy Store.
- Put off running the dishwasher or doing laundry until after 8 PM.
- Use your oven, stove, dishwasher, dryer, washing machine and other heat-producing appliances early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
Sacramento County Public Health reminds us to take steps to stay safe and healthy during the heatwave.
Tips to beat the heat
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water.
- Limit sun exposure – When possible, stay in air conditioning, take cool showers or wipe a cold wet cloth on your head and neck.
- Check on loved ones – Help take care of older friends, family and neighbors, especially if they are less mobile, live alone or don’t have air conditioning.
- Wear lightweight clothing – Lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing is cooler and more comfortable in hot temperatures.
- Avoid being outside – Try to be outside only in the cooler morning and evening hours. Avoid exercise or being outside during the hottest part of the day.
- Be aware of hot cars – Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time. The temperature can reach 100 degrees in the car in less than 10 minutes on an 80 degree day.
- Keep pets safe – Remember to give your pets plenty of water. Make sure they have shade outdoors or keep them inside where it's cool. Avoid exercising your pet in high temperatures or walking them on hot pavement.
- Wear sunscreen – Protect your skin by using SPF 30 or higher.
Compare energy costs of appliances at different times of the day and get room-by-room energy tips to help you save.
While risk of wildfire is low in our service area, we encourage customers to be prepared for a possible emergency.
Be prepared to go to a location with backup power in case of emergency, especially if you use medical equipment.
Here is some additional information to help you during the heatwave:
- Get outage status online or in My Account
- See the latest SMUD updates on Twitter
- Report an outage online or call 1-888-456-7683
- Severe Weather Sheltering & Tips for Staying Cool (Sacramento County)