For Immediate Release: August 30, 2017

Beat the heat and save some money too

SMUD offers tips to affordably be cool and comfortable

Another heat wave is here. Reliability is a Core Value at SMUD, and the community-owned electric utility has enough power resources to meet summer demand. While SMUD customers enjoy some of the lowest rates in California, air-conditioning needs can drive customer usage and bills. It’s easy to keep energy use in check, though, without giving up cooling comfort. The first step is keeping your home from heating up, which can reduce immediate cooling costs, as well as help save on long-term costs from wear and tear on cooling equipment. SMUD also advises no-cost and low-cost strategies, and if necessary, long-term money-saving investments through SMUD’s rebates and financing programs, like these:

No-cost energy saving:

  • Keep windows and drapes closed during the heat of the day.
  • Set the thermostat at 78 or higher in the summer. (Reduce cooling costs up to 10 percent more for every degree raised.)
  • Fans use 90 percent less energy than the AC. Use small fans or ceiling fans instead.
  • Adjust ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise so they blow air down during the summer.
  • Turn off unneeded lights.
  • Give appliances a break—clothes dryers get hot. Use a clothes line instead?
  • Prepare cold meals that don’t require cooking. If you must cook, use the microwave.
  • Get rid of the old fridge or freezer in the garage. SMUD will pick it up and give you cash.
  • Set timers on pool and spa pumps to run before 1:00 p.m. or after 9:00 p.m.

Low-cost energy saving:

  • Change the HVAC filter. Systems with dirty filters can use 5 to 10 percent more energy.
  • Install weather stripping, black-out curtains, programmable thermostat and LED lighting.


Long-term investments:

  • Upgrade the home’s insulation, windows, HVAC system, and other appliances.
  • Invest in the future by planting free SMUD shade trees. They help cool the home, add property value and curb appeal. Choose trees online at

To learn more energy-saving tips and find out how to take advantage of our energy-efficiency rebates and incentives, visit