Natural Gas Saving Tips
1. Turn your water heater temperature down to 125 F. Turning your hot water heater down will save money and energy, and prevent scalding at the taps.
2. Use water efficient showerheads and aerators. These are available free from East Bay Municipal Utilities District.
3. Wash clothes in cold water and dry your clothes in the sun. Modern detergents are formulated to work with cold water. Use a clotheline or rack to dry your clothes naturally.
4. Analyze your energy use. Use Home Energy Analyzer, a free online tool that uses your PG&E data to help you monitor and analyze your home's energy use. It provides customized tips for your home on how to save energy and money.
5. Caulk and Seal. There are hundreds of places in your home or apartment that may allow in drafts (and bugs). Use a water-based caulk at the top and bottom edge of your baseboards, around windows, doors, electric and cable penetrations, plumbing penetrations (except your water heater fresh air vent), and skylights.
6. Add an insulated attic door. Attic doors are usually the largest and most leaky ceiling penetration in your house. Create an airtight, insulated hatch door to stop the loss.
7. Insulate. Add insulation in your attic and feel a noticeable difference in your home’s ability to maintain temperature in winter, and prevent overheating in summer. Add insulation in the crawlspace or basement, seal the space where the exterior wall and floors meet with expanding insulating foam.
8. Fix the Flue. Check the fireplace damper, and ensure that it closes snugly. If you don’t use the fireplace, close it off permanently and use candles instead.
9. Seal and Insulate ducts. Inspect ducts for dark streaks on the insulation. These indicate that the joints in the metal have separated, allowing precious heat to escape. Some ducts are covered with a grey, brittle insulation that may contain asbestos; contact a professional for help in sealing these.
10. Get a Home Energy Upgrade. Have a trained, certified home performance contractor test your home for heat loss, air leaks and indoor air quality. Then receive customized recommendations for energy upgrades. Rebates are available, see Energy Upgrade California. For more information, see Energy Efficiency Upgrades.
Need help reducing energy bills?
Many of Berkeley’s older houses and apartments have poor insulation, abundant air leakage and inefficient heating systems, making them energy intensive for space heating with natural gas. The following agencies can help you save money and energy:
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