PGE shares ways to keep cool, reduce energy costs as temperatures soar

No- and low-cost energy efficiency resources can help customers save money

Aug. 14, 2020

Portland, Ore. — Ahead of 100-degree weather expected in much of Oregon this weekend, Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) shared tips to keep cool and keep energy costs low.

“There are many ways to stay cool and save money, especially important when temperatures rise to extremes,” said John McFarland, Chief Customer Officer for Portland General Electric. “From keeping your house shaded to tracking your energy use, everyone can take actions to be more comfortable and more efficiently cool their home for less.”

Some of the easiest steps include:

Track your energy usage and costs:

  • Register online to see your energy usage by the day, week or hour, and pinpoint where you use energy so you can focus on ways to save.
  • Set up notifications to get weekly estimated bill amounts, mid-month high-bill alerts and more through our mobile app, text or email.

Take advantage of cooler outdoor air:

  • If it’s safe, open windows during cooler nights and mornings (make sure open windows are safe for children), using a fan to draw cool air in.
  • When it gets to about 75 to 80 degrees out, close windows, doors and window coverings to keep cool air in — and use an indoor fan. Running a portable window fan instead of an AC unit at night can save an average home an estimated monthly savings of $32.
  • Turn off fans when no one is in the room or when not trying to circulate cooled air.

Keep the house shaded:

  • Close curtains on sun-facing windows or use awnings during the day and when running AC units. White window shades, drapes or blinds can reflect heat away from the house.

Prevent heat build-up inside:

  • Move cooking outside to the grill or opt for no-cook meals.
  • Save showers, laundry and dishwashing for cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Use window air conditioning efficiently:

    • Keep window units running until the air cools enough outside to open the windows or use a portable fan. Window units work best when left to run for long periods of time, rather than being turned on and off. When temperatures are high, AC units work harder and longer to maintain the same inside temperature, which may impact your bill.

    Have central air? Make it as efficient as possible.

    • Set the thermostat 10 degrees higher than normal if you’re going to be away for more than half the day. Your cooling will run less frequently, but your home won’t get super hot.
    • When cooling the whole house be sure to keep all windows and doors closed.
    Check your thermostat:
    • Set central air thermostats to 76 degrees, rather than 70 degrees. This difference can result in an estimated monthly savings of about $13.
    • Avoid putting lamps or TVs that emit heat near the thermostat.
    • Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can help save costs season after season.

    See a complete list of all ways to save.

    About Portland General Electric Company
    Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves 901,000 customers with a service area population of 1.9 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE has 16 generation plants in five Oregon counties, and maintains and operates 13 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2019, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $4.7 million and volunteered 32,900 hours with more than 700 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/news.

    For more information contact: Elizabeth, Lattanner, 503-464-7016, Elizabeth.Lattanner@pgn.com