Heat wave tips and resources

We're here to help find ways to reduce your electricity use and keep you safe and cool during hot days.


Cooling centers

Cooling centers are open around the Sacramento area during heat waves, offering places for our community to beat the extreme summer heat.

SacRT to provide free rides on fixed-route bus and light rail to and from activated cooling centers located throughout the Sacramento region. To ride free, screenshot or print the free ride flyer and present it to the bus operator upon boarding, or show light rail fare inspection staff upon request.

Location Address Bus Stop Dates Hours Pets Allowed? Service Kids
County Service Center 3331 Peacekeeper Way, McClellan Peacekeeper & Arnold + Peacekeeper & Watt 7/12 - 7/13

12 PM - 8 PM

Yes Yes Yes
North A Street Shelter 1400 North A Street, Sacramento
North B St & Ahern St 7/12 - 7/13 1 PM - 10 PM Yes Yes No
Wackford Community Center 9014 Bruceville Rd., Elk Grove
 N/A 7/12 - 7/13 12 PM - 8 PM  Yes Yes Yes
Outreach and Engagement Center 3615 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento
 573 7/12 - 7/14 24 hours per day until 8 AM on 7/14 Yes Yes  Yes
Pannell Meadowview Community Center
2450 Meadowview Rd., Sacramento
486 & 497 & 24th St - Meadowview F 7/12 7/13 8 AM - 8 PM
8 AM - 12 PM
No  Yes Yes 
Police Station Lobby
455 Industrial Dr., Galt
 N/A 7/12 - 7/13 12 PM - 8 PM Yes
 Yes Yes
Police Station Lobby 6315 Fountain Square Dr., Citrus Heights
5363 & Greenback - Fountain Square Dr. 7/12  12 PM - 8 PM

No  Yes Yes
Rancho Cordova City Hall
2729 Prospect Park Dr., Rancho Cordova 3811 & 3812 7/12 2 PM - 8 PM
No   Yes  Yes
Folsom Police Department Lobby
46 Natoma St., Folsom N/A 7/12
12 PM - 7 PM  Yes  Yes  Yes


2-1-1 Sacramento keeps an updated list of cooling centers. You can find cooling centers near you by using their ZIP Code search feature.

Find cooling centers near you


Suggestions to help you stay comfortable while conserving energy.

Staying cool

  • To help conserve power during heat waves, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. You'll save around 5-10% on cooling costs for every two degrees you raise the temperature.
  • Decreasing your air condition (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 PM-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 your home cools easily and can maintain a consistent temperature, try precooling your home:

  • Turn on the air conditioning in the morning.
  • Raise your thermostat setting to 78 degrees (or turn it off) during the peak hours of 5 PM - 8 PM.
  • Enjoy the cool air you have stored up.

Recommended temperature settings

Setting  Time  Temperature (cooling)
Home 6 AM
78°F or higher
8 AM
At least 7° higher than your Home setting
3 - 4:59 PM
Set to 78°
5 - 8 PM
78° or higher
8:01 PM
78° or higher
10 PM
At least 4° higher than your Home setting


  • Avoid heating up your 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.

Get more savings tips

Sacramento County Public Health reminds us to take steps to stay safe and healthy during a heat wave.

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.

Helpful links

Here is some additional information to help you during a heat wave: