Don’t be Spooked by Energy Saving Urban Legends

Don’t be Spooked by Energy Saving Urban Legends

Urban legends, myths, folklore: call them what you want. This Halloween, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is debunking energy savings urban legends by separating fact from fiction around five popular myths that just don’t add up.



Shifting energy use to the off peak hours during the evening will automatically save you money.

Shifting your energy usage to the evening will not immediately save you money, unless you’re on a Time-of-Use rate plan.


Conserving energy within high-usage hours during the afternoon and early evening benefits everyone by reducing stress on the energy grid.

Turning off electronics and appliances will eliminate energy use.

Many electronics and appliances continue to draw energy even when they are turned off. If you want to save more energy, unplug electronics and appliances when they are not in use.


Vampire appliances draw electricity from outlets when equipment is turned off, but still plugged in. Household electronics such as televisions, computers, and entertainment systems act as energy vampires, typically sucking up to 20 percent of the average home’s energy use.


With the flip of a switch, customers can easily cut power to multiple devices plugged into a power strip all at once, saving up to $75 each year.

Leaving a light on uses less energy than turning it off and on again.

Leaving the light on when leaving a room for a few minutes won’t save energy as opposed to turning it off and on in a short timeframe.


In an average home, lighting accounts for nearly 15 percent of electricity costs. Turning lights off when not in the room is a simple way for customers to save approximately $45 a year.


Customers can explore Advanced LED lighting options on PG&E Marketplace, a one stop shop for all energy saving appliances and consumer electronics – including those that offer customers money back via a rebate. LED lighting uses 75 percent less energy than incandescent lightbulbs. By replacing one traditional lightbulb with an LED lightbulb, customers can save $10 each year.

Electric space heaters save money.

Running just two electric space heaters can cost the equivalent of heating an entire home with a gas-powered system.


Make sure you’re thinking safety first. Try to avoid using space heaters. If a space heater is needed, try not to use your central heating system at the same time.

Water usage doesn’t impact energy usage.

Water heating accounts for 20 percent of a typical home’s total energy use.


Every 10°F a customer lowers the temperature of their water heater can result in a 5 percent savings in water heating costs, or $20 each year for an average household.


PG&E offers customers a rebate for installing solar water heating, which allows them to save energy and money. With solar water heating, customers can reduce their water heating bill by up to 80 percent.


To learn more about saving energy and money at


Topics: Appliances, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Cost of Ownership, Going Green, Heating & Cooling, Lighting, Plumbing & Fixtures, Sinks & Toilets, Water Heaters, Water Saving Devices

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